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need someone medical/sciency with knowledge of human body to settle dispute between DH and I

(52 Posts)
crokky Tue 25-Aug-09 22:21:16


I think DH has been irresponsible and he thinks I am stupid.

Whilst me and 3yo and 1yo were asleep, he was cutting plastic tags off clothes over the kitchen table (you know those plastic things with T shaped ends that keep the price tags on clothes). He cut a tag and lost it, but knew it was somewhere on the kitchen table. He went to work whilst we were all still asleep and didn't tell me what'd happened.

I came down and fed 3yo and 1yo breakfast (and lunch) at table. As you'll all know, little kids food comes off plates and onto table etc. Later on, I'm clearing up and find this tag on the table. I'm fuming because I think the DCs could easily have got this stuck to their sandwich etc and accidentally eaten it. I also think that it would be really harmful to eat a little T shaped piece of this tag and that it would get stuck in their intestines and not be visible on an x ray, well and potentially kill them.

Please tell me who is being unreasonable! I won't mind if it is me, I just need to know. I am quite pedantic about keeping the table and floor clean (not germ wise, but just free from stuff the DCs might put in mouths).

HeadFairy Tue 25-Aug-09 22:23:45

I'm not a sciency type, but I don't think it would have killed them at all. I've swallowed God knows what in my lifetime - I used to stick everything in my mouth. When I was 3 I even ate broken glass and survived. I think the greater risk is from things that can block their airways, coins, pen lids and the like.

hf128219 Tue 25-Aug-09 22:23:46

Yep, that can be potentially dangerous - and one a lot of parents don't think about.

redpyjamas Tue 25-Aug-09 22:24:26

I'm not medical, but it would not occur to me to worry about that.

CowWatcher Tue 25-Aug-09 22:25:13

I am no expert, but from what I understand (half-conversations with friend who is a doctor) most plastic things swallowed by children are harmless & pass out the usual way. However, clearly there are lots of things children swallow tht are dangerous & if it had been a long thin plastic tag thingy I would have been cross as would imagine this could get stuck in intestines etc. Afraid I think YABU but your husband should take care with what he leaves lying about. IYSWIM. Sitting on fence.

FluffySaysTheDailyMailsShite Tue 25-Aug-09 22:25:33

I wouldn't worry about it to be honest. It wouldn't be digested (it's plastic), it wouldn't show up on an x-ray (because it's plastic) so will more then likely come out the other end. It's highly unlikely to cause any damage, children eat all sorts and live to tell the tale. smile The human body is more robust then we give it credit.

brimfull Tue 25-Aug-09 22:27:05

I wouldn't worry about this at all.

If they can swallow it without choking then it'll just come out the other end.

I am a nurse if that is at all relevant.

so I think you are being unreasonable

I do not think swalling a little bit of plastic like those tag thingies would be at all dangerous.
It would reemerge unaltered after a couple of days, if you were bothered searching for it grin.
I am a GP. Disclaimer: I am no specialist and irresponible non-chalant mother whose DSs have ingested all manner of things without undue effects

thirtypence Tue 25-Aug-09 22:29:15

If it is dangerous then I am a bad mum as I have just pulled off a load of those tags on top of ds's bed and wasn't intending to check I had all the bits when I put them in the bin.

It can't be more dangerous than a fish bone, or getting a bit of cling film stuck to a sandwich and ingested both of which are more likely - unless your dh unwraps a lot of clothes.

It's his house too, I wouldn't expect my dh to wake me up to tell me something like this.

FluffySaysTheDailyMailsShite Tue 25-Aug-09 22:32:30

That's not quite true thirtypence, I've seen some cracking x-rays of fishbones stuck in throats, they are really thin and really sharp, a plastic tag bit is thick and fairly blunt in comparison, there's no chance of one of these ending up lying horizontal through the epiglottis. wink

crokky Tue 25-Aug-09 22:33:26

Wow, lots of people up late grin!

Thanks for responses.

Those tag things are so common, they're in every shop etc etc and so I did think they shouldn't be dangerous, but then I am a worrier!

Fortunately this time I don't have to search for it coming out the other end as I found it. But, I would search poo if I though either of them had eaten it!

Everybody thinks IABU apart from hf128219.


hf128219 Tue 25-Aug-09 22:35:17

I read somewhere that it can be dangerous and have always been fastidious about making sure I have all the bits!

Or was that safety pins? smile

dogofpoints Tue 25-Aug-09 22:36:59


You do not sound like a relaxing person to share a house with

crokky Tue 25-Aug-09 22:38:42

Bizarrely it was my MIL who told me it could be dangerous. And it is HER son leaving all the tags around!!

He left part of a broken pen within easy reach of both of them as well a few weeks ago, so I am always nagging him about leaving stuff lying around.

MsHighwater Tue 25-Aug-09 22:39:02

I really think searching poo would be a bit OTT - after all, if you didn't find it, how could you be sure that you hadn't just missed it?

I think it would be unlikely to cause much of a problem. Not a reason not to be a bit more careful, though.

crokky Tue 25-Aug-09 22:40:06

dogofpoints - no I am not a relaxing person to share a house with grin.

HeadFairy Tue 25-Aug-09 22:41:10

There are so many things to worry about in life, I really wouldn't worry about this. My dh left a used razor blade in our (open topped) bathroom bin the other day... I only realised when I found ds playing with it shock I nearly fainted, dh has been rather firmly told to put them in the kitchen bin which has a tight lid!!!

Mumcentreplus Tue 25-Aug-09 22:49:02

nope...tags are not death dealing rest easy...your DH is not a twat grin

Nancy66 Tue 25-Aug-09 22:53:30

Over reaction on your part I think - wouldn't occur to me that they could be dangerous.

seeker Tue 25-Aug-09 22:58:45

How, exactly would a centimetre long plastic T shape kill you?

TheNightingaleComplex Tue 25-Aug-09 23:07:00

YABU, in respect that, if they did eat it, I don't see any reason why there would be any problems.

Conversely YANBU, as why even let it happen? It would have taken nothing to have cleaned it all away.

lowlandlady Tue 25-Aug-09 23:10:02

Oh lordy, I'm the same and say the same to DH but our house is full of all sorts of stuff that we should have child proofed by now for dd (11 months). But because I know our environment isn't perfect I watch her like a hawk.

Everyone has a different ceiling for risk I guess.

FlightHattendant Tue 25-Aug-09 23:17:24

Depends on how long. I reckon most kids would spit it out if very long...

still - people have died from swallowing lots of their own hair. So (as Mrs Potato head would say ) you Never Know wink

FlightHattendant Tue 25-Aug-09 23:18:26

But don't get me started on batteries...I've been going round reclaiming all the button batteries from everything after reading what they can do to you...

scottishmummy Tue 25-Aug-09 23:24:50

tbh,peristaltic movement through colon and they will poop it out

wouldn't show on xray

and children are v robust and ingest lots of foreign bodies and expel em too

seeker Tue 25-Aug-09 23:26:59

But batteries are dangerous because they've got poisonous stuff in them. Bits of plastic don't.

And how much hair would you have to swallow to kill you, ffs?

FluffySaysTheDailyMailsShite Tue 25-Aug-09 23:31:37

Magnets are really dangerous, they stick together in the intestine and make a hole in it, nasty, they always remove these and batteries (acid). They show up on an x-ray aswell, mobile phones shoved up bottoms show up aswell. grin

FluffySaysTheDailyMailsShite Tue 25-Aug-09 23:34:26
scottishmummy Tue 25-Aug-09 23:35:58

some people fall upon their hoover attachment whilst hoovering (nude) and it inextricably becomes attached to their appendage

funny how that can happen

FluffySaysTheDailyMailsShite Tue 25-Aug-09 23:39:37
sharksarepeopletoo Tue 25-Aug-09 23:46:01

YABabitU - my DD swallowed a pound coin some years ago and it appeared at the other end ok.

OTOH YANBU - I did ring NHS direct about it and they pissed themselves laughing were very understanding. Said main concern was choking so a 2p or a 50p would have been a problem.

The coin was a funny colour when I got it back but it still went in the parking meter ok grin

FluffySaysTheDailyMailsShite Tue 25-Aug-09 23:51:56
sharksarepeopletoo Wed 26-Aug-09 00:09:39

Fluffysays... OMG to the forks shock. Brings a whole new meaning to watching 'em with the family silver grin

Betteries info quite alarming.

FluffySaysTheDailyMailsShite Wed 26-Aug-09 00:13:00

grin And we give these to the little darlings!!

There's an x-ray of a child with two swallowed bullets in it's tummy somewhere on the web.

sharksarepeopletoo Wed 26-Aug-09 00:19:32

sorry batteries

Fluffy... bullets!! I think I've lead a sheltered life.

FluffySaysTheDailyMailsShite Wed 26-Aug-09 00:20:18

Would you like me to find it for you?

sharksarepeopletoo Wed 26-Aug-09 00:25:47

only if you've got it to hand don't go to any trouble - it trumps my DDs pound coin any day of the week. Who has bullets lying around??

FluffySaysTheDailyMailsShite Wed 26-Aug-09 00:29:08

It's american wink hold on.

FluffySaysTheDailyMailsShite Wed 26-Aug-09 00:30:55
sharksarepeopletoo Wed 26-Aug-09 00:32:25

"Who has bullets lying around??"

that wasn't a general query BTW - not looking for any confessions! grin just an outloud musing.

MissSunny Wed 26-Aug-09 00:33:30

Message withdrawn

sharksarepeopletoo Wed 26-Aug-09 00:34:59


FluffySaysTheDailyMailsShite Wed 26-Aug-09 00:37:46


HeadFairy Wed 26-Aug-09 00:38:50

Which food group do you put glass in?

FluffySaysTheDailyMailsShite Wed 26-Aug-09 00:39:22

erm, mineral grin

sharksarepeopletoo Wed 26-Aug-09 00:39:50

OMG for Fluffy's bullets.Thanks for link.

MissSunny...they made 'em tough in the 70s grin

MissSunny Wed 26-Aug-09 00:43:56

Message withdrawn

sharksarepeopletoo Wed 26-Aug-09 00:57:12

PMSL at breaking it into small pieces.

My DD does the same with carrots but I'm not sure it the same thing...

Jackaroo Wed 26-Aug-09 01:10:40

I realise we've moved on a bit, but just adding that if they swallow, not a problem; would be a bit concerned that it might get inhaled.

Not enough to rant at DH, but would mention to him in no uncertain terms that it would be on his head if DC had breathing problems/tubes stuck in his lungs because of his thoughtful behaviour in taking tags off clothes. I did notice thought that he actually bothered to look, and realised one was missing, which is probably about 200% more thorough than my most DHs would be?

Ilikecoffee Wed 26-Aug-09 01:34:46

My sister is a worrier so I know where you are coming from but I wouldn't worry too much.It all comes out at the other end. My kids between all of them they swollowed: money ( 5p ) polly pocket shoes ,pips and chewing gums and there are ok. That over 11 years.

Teddington Wed 26-Aug-09 19:37:08

DD once managed to get the zip puller off her grobag and then proceeded to eat it! She announced this over the baby monitor 'Oops, Daddy, I think I eated my bag!'

Called NHS direct who instructed me to take her to A+E in case the 'little thin bit' could tear any of her insides.

The consultant at A+E was so not impressed that NHS direct had sent us there (They do give out strange advice was his comment)but was compelled to Xray her. DH had to go in, in lieu of 8 month bump with me!!

We never knew what became of the zip - DH did the nappy in the morning (the 7 hour 'appearance zone' per advice of consultant) but had forgotten by that point and none of the next 2 days presentations were anything to be excited about!

Perhaps it's still there......

BellaNoir Wed 26-Aug-09 22:14:21

My DB ate an acorn as a child and is still around to tell the tale.
/Weird school alert/
One boy I knew at school ate a lithium battery in a Physics lesson and was ok. The teacher had palpitations though.
Another lad ate a live frog for a bet (£5). Well he actually swallowed it whole. He was ok for about 5 mins and then looked v.nauseous and vomited it back up again. Apparently it was wriggling inside him. It didn't make it. The lad continues to thrive AFAIK.

It's amazing what the human body can cope with IMHO.

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