Doctor for kids Swallow a coin
Kids learn about the world by touching, feeling and putting things in their mouths. Ingesting foreign bodies is their way of exploring the world. Small items like kid swallowed a coin, buttons, or  batteries seems a very common incident, and since coins are easily accessible by babies and toddlers, their shining metallic luster appeals the little eyes, and as they like to taste everything, the silver Metal goes straight into the mouth. Read how can you stop your baby from putting everything in his mouth.

how do you know if your child swallowed a coin

Children find everything as their potential food items and feed themselves with it. Touch and taste, chew and swallow’, this is how their mind works when they get something in their hands. Then it may or may not be a food item. If it is small and fits into his mouth, it is definitely being tested, and then maybe kid swallowed a coin and other small objects. Swallowing foreign objects like marbles, coins, mouth full’s of sand and tiny 
removable parts of toys are common problems for parents of a toddler. A child will happily swallow a foreign object and not even worry about it. Whereas, parents live in fear of “What to do now?”

dr chetan ginigeri

What Are The Symptoms of Toddler Swallowing A Coin?
How Long It Takes To Pass Kid Swallowed a Coin?
My Child Swallowed A Penny, And It Is Stuck!
First Aid When Toddler Swallows a Penny
Kid Swallowed a Coin Treatment and Removal
Safety And Prevention Tips

What Are The Symptoms of Toddler Swallowing A Coin?

If your kid swallowed a coin or a penny accidentally, then you need to watch out and carefully observe the child. If the kid swallowed a coin goes into the stomach, there is a huge possibility that the same will be passed through the colon and get expelled with stool. However, if the penny gets trapped in the passage to the stomach, it presents a risky situation and must be taken seriously. If the kid swallowed a coin gets stuck in the esophagus, it could cause distinctive symptoms like –

  • The child could drop the saliva continuously from the mouth, and continuous drooling can be indicative that something is wrong with the child
  • Difficulty in swallowing anything, and so he may refuse food and drink even though he is hungry
  • Vomiting can also be observed
  • The child complains of pain in the neck or chest
  • A sudden fever develops

If the coin gets stuck in the intestine and tears intestinal walls a variety of symptoms might be evident like- blood in the stool due to which it could appear dark, bowel sounds that are not normal, stomach pain and vomiting. Sometimes the coin gets trapped, but a child can continue to swallow and eat without any difficulty. In such a situation, the child will cough continuously. The stuck coin can cause inflammation and irritation of the esophageal tissues, which can further rupture the esophagus, causing potentially dangerous situations.

How Long It Takes To Pass Kid Swallowed a Coin?

Now you may be in a panic mode because your kid swallowed a coin or some other foreign object. 80 to 90 % of times, a coin or a small penny will pass on its own, causing no damage as it is round with soft edges, and eventually come out with stool. The coin passes through the digestive system and is expelled within a day or two. However, it is necessary to keep a keen eye on your child. It can be an emergency situation if there are the below-mentioned symptoms:

  1. Your child cannot speak or cry and has trouble breathing
  2. He is drooling and cannot swallow even food and water
  3. Your child is coughing or is breathing noisily
  4. You can feel him choking
  5. He loses consciousness and is vomiting continuously. His stomach could also be upset

kid swallowed a coin
If your child is doing well and does not exhibit any symptoms, then you may as well wait for the penny to pass out through the stools. Though consulting a paediatrician is recommended, do not self medicate by giving laxatives to your child to hasten the process of excretion as it may not help. Neither will be forcing your child to gulp food. If you are scared or feel helpless, the best option would be to seek the doctor’s advice.

My Child Swallowed A Penny, And It Is Stuck!

If the coin has passed through the throat, into the stomach, it should pass out from the system in less than 4-5 days, and usually within two days. A coin that is stuck will induce stomach or chest pain, drooling, trouble swallowing, vomiting and fever. In any of these cases, take the child to the hospital as early as possible and take the doctor’s advice.

First Aid When Toddler Swallows a Penny

If there are any symptoms of a coin or a foreign object is stuck, you must NOT

  • Try to make the child vomit
  • Give the child anything to drink or eat

You can follow the following steps if your child swallows a coin or something else that is soft, small, smooth and not poisonous:

  • Make sure, and you check his poop for the next two to three days. This can be done by placing the poop in a strainer and spraying hot water on it. By doing this, you will be sure that the swallowed foreign object came out fine and there is no need to worry any further
  • In the time period of swallowing coin it is necessary for parents to observe their child minutely

Child trying to vomit

  • Feed him food that is soft and fibrous. Bananas are a good option when you want to make things move along faster in your child’s system
  • Make sure you feed your child plenty of water and keep him/her hydrated. A hydrated body functions well, and your child will have no trouble in the passing stool with the coin in it

Kid Swallowed a Coin Treatment and Removal

If the coin does not comes out even after following all the steps stated above and remains in the body for more than 48 hours, it is time to head to the hospital even if your child does not exhibit any symptoms of uneasiness. Visit your doctor and take medical help. The doctor may ask you to wait some more and suggest some medicines for helping your child poop the coin out. The doctor will also help locate the exact position of the coin in your child with the help of X-ray, and you can be certain that the object your kid swallowed a coin only and nothing else. Though, there is no need to remove a coin with surgical methods. However, if the swallowed object is not a coin and something sharp, that can damage or puncture your child’s Gastrointestinal (GI) tract, the doctor may suggest endoscopy.

Safety And Prevention Tips

Here are some precautions you must take to avoid happening of such incidents.

  • Do not let your child pay with money, not even bills. One of the many reasons for not letting your child do so is, he/she may digest your hundred-rupee bill, and you will be at a loss. It is also a bad habit for children to play with money because they are passed through many hands and have a thousand different types of bacteria and germs on them
  • Do not let your child play with tiny objects. Dolls, cars, and toys that have removable parts can be swallowed and stuck in your child’s systems. The chances of things getting inhales are also high, so better be cautious
  • Practice extra caution if you are taking your child somewhere outside. For instance, if you take your child in a garden and he finds a big fat caterpillar crawling in the grass, he may feed it to himself
  • It is a child’s tendency to observe things using all his/her senses. Your child will examine things with his visionary senses and may want to explore his taste buds all over it. So it is becoming even more important for parents not to leave small tiny things within your children’s reach

Please note that this article is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.