It’s a surefire shocker if you see your baby or young toddler putting something other than food in his mouth. Good if you have the presence of mind and quick reaction to grab the thing from him before he swallows it–which, unfortunately, is often not the case.

Some things that are likely to end up in your baby’s hands (and mouth) are small objects left carelessly lying around like marbles, buttons, pebbles, toothpicks, match sticks, cotton balls, and small coins, to name a few.

We won’t mention scarier scenarios where thumb tacks, small screws or nails, or needles are involved.

So, what do you do if your baby swallowed an object?

Harmless and Harmful Objects

The first thing to do is observe your kid–that is, if the object is not pointed or sharp. If it is, then rush your kid to the nearest hospital at once. But other objects, especially smaller ones, aren’t usually harmful when swallowed and naturally goes out of the body through the stool during bowel movement. But if your kid reacts strangely, like feeling dizzy, vomiting, losing appetite, running a fever or wheezing, rush him to the emergency room at once.

However, there are instances when kids look okay even after swallowing an object. Don’t be complacent–kids swallowing objects is not normal. The reaction may just be delayed, and you should be using that lull before the storm to take the kid to the doctor or hospital before the worse comes.

Nothing in the Stool

What if the baby swallowed an object but it doesn’t appear in the stool? To make doubly sure that it really isn’t there, put the poop in a strainer and pour hot water on it. Productive poop can bury small objects effectively and keep you from seeing them. If the object surfaces, you’re in luck! No need to take your kid to the doctor. If it doesn’t, it’s time for an urgent appointment with the doctor then.

Object Chokes Kid

Even if the object swallowed isn’t pointed or sharp–but if it chokes the kid–he’s in immediate danger. As you rush him to the emergency room of the nearest hospital, someone knowledgeable should apply induced coughing-out of the foreign object stuck in the throat. Or, CPR for babies or toddlers. Parents should learn the technique before needing them for an actual situation.

Prevention is Better

In any situation, prevention is better than cure. Keep all objects out of your baby’s reach.

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