Dr. Saad Saad has performed many surgeries to remove foreign objects from the throats of curious children. Among these have been coins, jewelry, toys, and a variety of other objects. One of the strangest things that Dr. Saad Saad ever had to remove from a patient was an entire toothbrush from the throat of a 14-year-old boy who was brought in complaining of stomach pain. Among the most touching was the story of a young girl who accidentally swallowed her tooth and subsequently getting it stuck in her windpipe. Fortunately, Dr. Saad Saad was safely able to remove the tooth so the tooth fairy could perform her duties and give the child her much-deserved reward.
While the best way to deal with getting objects stuck in the windpipe or esophagus is simply just to take precaution and avoid the problem, accidents happen. Some advice Dr. Saad Saad has offered patients is to avoid giving children smaller hard foods like peanuts and hard candy. If you’re planning on giving them food like hot dogs or grapes which can easily become lodged and obstruct breathing, he suggests cutting them into smaller pieces first that are less likely to be a choking hazard.
Of all of the objects that represent potential choking hazards, Dr. Saad Saad believes that batteries are among the most dangerous. While AA and AAA batteries are the most commonly used batteries that children are around, there is also a variety of smaller batteries such as those that go in cameras, watches, and other electronics. Even if these batteries do not get lodged in the throat they still have the potential to be dangerous due to the material that they contain. When the battery hits the stomach, the high levels of acidity can cause the battery to leak and burn the child’s stomach or esophagus. To avoid this, make sure to check and ensure that the batteries in whatever your child is handling are secure and unable to be taken out.
If your child does manage to swallow one of these objects, it can either get lodged in can be easy to panic. It’s important to try to stay as calm as possible to ensure the safety of your child. Do not try to dislodge the object with your fingers. Instead, perform the Heimlich maneuver on older children to try to dislodge the object. For children younger than 6, turn them upside down and gently pat their back. If these methods do not work seek medical attention immediately.
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