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16-month-old may have swallowed foreign object

(5 Posts)
expatkat Fri 16-Jan-04 19:11:24

I was at the library a couple of hours ago with 16-month-old dd & 4-yr-old ds. While I was reading to ds, dd was playing nicely with some large Duplo style lego-type toys, and amusing herself by floppping on the beanbag cushions etc. All of a sudden I heard her sort of gag, and then she swallowed hard 4 or 5 times, as though she were trying to get something down her throat. I can't think what she could have swallwed. The library floor was clear. Possibly it was a hairclip. She had 3 in her hair, and I can only account for 2 now--but the 3rd could have got lost anywhere.

The librarian called for the ambulance team who checked her over, found her fine, and referred me to the local clinic. The doctor there recommended an x-ray just in case it was something metal that might get caught in the digestive process. Unfortunately the nearest hospital w/ xray is more than an hr away, it is the coldest day on record where I am, the roads are icy, & I get panic attacks when I drive. I am also on my own, and don't really have anyone I can ask to drive us there & back & wait the requisite several hours to be seen. And even if a taxi drives us, the roads are pretty dangerous.

But on the other hand it is SO out of character for dd to swallow something. She seems really to be past that stage. One of the paramedics suggested the one of the baton-shaped lego things might have stimulated her gag reflex (for she WAS putting those in her mouth) & she may not have swallowed something at all.

What I'm asking you all is:

1. How likely is it REALLY for a 16-month old to swallow something?
2. Will most object pass harmlessly through the digestive track?
3. Will she express any symptoms I should look out for?
4. Am I stupid not to take her to the hospital?

JJ Fri 16-Jan-04 19:17:20

This is what I would do: think if it's at all possible she could have swallowed a battery. If not (and I don't see any reason to assume there would be one on a library floor), I wouldn't take her to the hospital. Make sure she poops as normal and if she starts vomiting and has an extreme tummy ache take her into the A and E right away.

I think she'll be fine, even if she swallowed something. The vomiting/extreme tummy ache/no pooping are signs of a blockage. (Don't worry if she's late pooping with no other symptoms, though!)

Poor you! I'd tell you not to worry, but I know that won't help and is too much to ask.

misdee Fri 16-Jan-04 19:18:01

dd1 swallowed a hairclip when she was around 10months old. she threw it up, but i took her to hospital as i was worried she may have damamged her throat.
dd2 (16months) on the other hand is currently go thro a phase of licking everything and putting things in her mouth. everything i pick up has baby drool on it.
i think most objects do pass thro with a few days.
i dont think your stupid at all, but if you are worried then i would take her.

mears Fri 16-Jan-04 19:22:06

I agree. If she is well then you don't need to worry. If she had any of the stmptoms that JJ describes then take her to hospital then. If there was a concern the ambulance would have taken you to hospital I am sure. Anything swallows does usually work it's way out eventually.

expatkat Fri 16-Jan-04 23:07:16

Thanks, everyone. Very reassuring.

I called her paediatrician to get his advice; his was the same as yours.

She seems fine at the moment. Thanks again.

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