Babies are known for swallowing just about anything, but sometimes this can be very dangerous. If your baby has swallowed something that is not sharp and seems to have gone straight to the stomach, everything should be fine and the object will come out on its own.
While you're waiting, pay attention to the baby and call your doctor if he starts vomiting, refuses to eat, fever and coughs.
If the object the baby swallows is sharp (for example, a toothpick or a needle), is metal (a penny), or is simply dangerous (a battery, for example), take it immediately to the doctor, even if he seems fine. Some swallowed things need to be removed, not allowed to pass through the stomach, because they can pierce the baby's esophagus, release dangerous substances or even create a small electrical current.
The doctor's intervention depends on what exactly your baby swallowed and if the object got stuck somewhere. The doctor will do an x-ray to find out where the object is.
If the doctor thinks that the object will move safely through the baby's body, then he will tell you to keep an eye on him for the next few days and to follow his chair. These days the doctor may do more x-rays to see the progress of the object through the body.
If the object swallowed by the baby blocks his breathing or gets stuck in the esophagus or stomach, or if it is dangerous to wait for the object to pass through the body, the doctor will have to remove it from there.
He will most likely use an endoscope (a long, thin device) if the object is in the stomach or esophagus, or if it is on the airway, he will use a bronchoscope. In certain situations, the operation will be necessary to remove the object.
What to do if the baby drowns with the object
If your baby drowns with an object, follow these instructions:
• If he coughs, let him cough - it is the best way for the object to dislodge. If he coughs and removes the object and sees it in his mouth, reach out and gently remove it. If it is further, do not try to remove it because you will make things worse.
• If you are struggling to breathe, face red or blue, you will need emergency medical care. Ask someone immediately to call 112 and start applying the first aid method. If you are alone and have no one to call to rescue, try applying the first aid method for two minutes and then call 112, after which you can continue treatment.
Often, you cannot prevent such accidents because babies from 6 to 9 months of age begin to discover the world around them and put in the mouth just about anything they find, because then they develop the ability to hold an object in hand. The best weapon is vigilance.
You need to keep in mind which items are most dangerous to a baby in order to keep them away from your baby: coins, broken balloons, beads, balls, nuts, grapes, popcorn and carrots.
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