• Number of ER trips among children due to swallowing small objects has doubled

    By: Amber Krycka , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    The number of children who went to emergency rooms because of swallowing toys, coins, batteries and other objects – has nearly doubled to a study by the Journal of Pediatrics.

    Life as a mom can get crazy at times.  

    “I chase him from the time I come home until the time I go to bed. He’s on the go, go, go,” said LeAnn Farrell, a mother.


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    Farrell said her 16-month-old son, like most toddlers, picks up everything.

    “He picked up a penny and was looking at it. It’s shiny. Next thing I know, it’s in his mouth before I realize what has happened,” said Farrell.

    Farrell had to dig it out of his mouth before he choked or swallowed it, but that is not the case for every parent.

    According to a new study in the Journal of Pediatrics, in 2015, there were nearly 43,000 ER visits among kids under the age of 6, compared with 22,000 in 1995.

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    “I’ve been teaching this type of information to parents for about that long, and it was surprising to me to hear that it doubled,” said Cinthia Dennis, registered nurse at Wolfson Children’s Hospital.

    Dennis said there are just more of these objects out there, and kids have more toys. Then there are button batteries, the most dangerous.

    “What’s happening is it’s getting stuck in the child’s esophagus, and there’s a reaction with the battery acid, and it can burn a hole. You need to get down on your hands and knees and view the world in their vantage point,” she said.

    Dennis recommends parents use a small parts tester to see which toys are too small.

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