What should you do if a child swallows an Object?
A child swallowing a foreign object is something we face day in and day out. Please take this message from us. We see children who have swallowed safety pins, button batteries, nails, screws, tiny hair clips, small toys, even a ring on the child’s finger. Kindly do not allow small objects like these within the reach of small children. Do not allow small children to play with coins and make sure the button battery of a toy cannot be removed by the child (securely closed).
What to do in case the child swallows something? First stop feeding the child. We may need to remove the object using the endoscope. Endoscopy can be done only if the child has not had any food for atleast 4 hours. So do not feed the child anything else. We will do X ray to check where the object is, based on which we will decide whether to remove it. After checking these we will advise whether food can be given.
Generally sharp objects like an open pin are dangerous and can cause damage. Button batteries could act like magnets and cause holes in the stomach or intestine.
There is also a risk of the object being stuck in the entrance to the airway and causing difficulty in breathing. In that case as a first aid, one must know how to do the Heimlich maneuver.
Prevention is the best. VGM team wanted to spread this short message to all parents.This is a small baby who had swallowed button batteries, which we removed endoscopically recently.