Analysis

Button batteries, plastic toys and coins: how to treat children who ingest foreign bodies

More children and teenagers are attending EDs due to ingested foreign bodies
Toy policeman figure

More children and teenagers are attending emergency departments due to ingested foreign bodies

  • Most cases of stuck or ingested foreign bodies in children are fairly minor but some cause critical emergencies
  • A growing number of teenagers and young adults swallow items as a form of self-harm
  • Keep in mind the possibility of objects being swallowed when treating a child with sudden and acute abdominal pain

Picking up a small toy or coin and swallowing it – or poking it up their nose or into their ear – is a common reason for many small children ending up in a hospital emergency department (ED).

While most cases of stuck or

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