Alphabetic Guide to Child Care - Swallowed objects

Swallowed Objects

Babies in a crib or playpen and toddlers playing around the house can certainly be depended on to put all kinds of objects into their mouths. So it's a good idea to make sure that surfaces are cleared of anything that would cause a crisis if swallowed. For example, place cleaning products out of reach, inspect toys for loose or detachable parts, and keep loose buttons and coins in drawers. Some small objects, such as fruit seeds, if swallowed and not choked upon, are unlikely to cause problems when passing through the digestive system. They will be disposed of in regular bowel movements.


Emergencies occur when the object is stuck in the windpipe or when it goes into the bronchial passage. If it is in the windpipe and isn't coughed up right away, use the first aid maneuver for “Obstruction in the Windpipe,” Ch. 35, Medical Emergencies without delay. If is doesn't work the first time, do it again—and again. You must clear the windpipe. If all efforts fail, rush the child to a hospital.

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