Swallowed toys, coins, batteries spark rise in tot ER visits

Kids swallow the darnedest things -- and the number of ER visits almost doubled in 20 years, study says

Kids swallow the darnedest things -- and the number of ER visits almost doubled in 20 years, study says

The number of young children who went to USA emergency rooms because they swallowed toys, coins, batteries and other objects has almost doubled over the past two decades, a new study says. They found that more than 759,000 children who are under the age of 6 have been evaluated by doctors for swallowing a small object between 1995 to 2015. The researchers estimated that 118 children per day end up in emergency rooms for foreign body ingestions.

The increase "rang some alarms", said Dr. Danielle Orsagh-Yentis, the lead author and a gastrointestinal physician at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

Only 10 percent of all children who were brought to emergency room visits for foreign object ingestion were admitted to the hospital for longer observations.

A growing number of young children are being treated in emergency rooms after swallowing potentially risky items. It is followed by toys, jewelry, and batteries.

Across all age groups, pennies accounted for two-thirds of coin ingestions.

Other objects kids can swallow include coins and toys. Over the 21-year period, the researchers said that the number of children swallowing batteries grew 150 times, and button batteries, which are small and found in everyday items including toys, represent 85 percent of the cases. Boys were also more likely to swallow screws and nails, whereas girls were more likely to swallow jewelry and hair products.

Nearly all of these foreign object ingestions happened in the home, according to the subset of cases that had data on the location where incidents occurred.

The study wasn't a controlled experiment created to prove whether or how any specific factors might have impacted the surge in ER visits for foreign object injections.

In most cases, children who were seen in the ER were discharged, but 10% required hospitalization.

The CPSC also has warned about dangers from button-sized batteries, which when swallowed can trigger a chemical reaction that can burn holes through tissue inside the throat.

Even so, the results should serve as a fresh reminder to parents that young kids can and do put all sorts of objects in their mouths, said Dr. Pamela Okada, medical director of the emergency department at Children's Health Plano and professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. "Keep small objects such as coins, batteries, magnets, buttons or jewelry out of reach and sight".

Children who swallow batteries or magnets may vomit or complain of abdominal pain.

"Of all the risks we want to talk to our kids about, it's such a simple thing to make them aware that these things could cause serious injury and to keep them not only away from their mouth but any other opening of the body", said Husain.

Notícias recomendadas

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.