What To Do If Your Child Swallows A Coin

What To Do If Your Child Swallows A Coin

What To Do If Your Child Swallows A Coin

Life is filled with exploration! This is especially true for your little one. A healthy imagination, well-developed tactile and motor skills, as well as a stronger sense of direction grows in a child as they step out and explore the ever-changing world around them.

The very first place your baby will start to inspect is within the safety of your home. Preparing your home to be the ideal place for your child to take on life’s adventures while simultaneously rendering it as a safe environment is no easy feat.

You may have baby-proofed your home and installed every baby gate you can possibly fit into your home, yet the tiny, curious fingers of your courageous explorer may still find mouth-sized objects which could cause hazardous repercussions to their precious life.

Possible Swallowed Items and Potential Effects

Typically, the items that are ingested by toddlers are objects such as small batteries from watches or toys, buttons from dress shirts, rocks, sewing pins, nails, screws, marbles, and small magnets. This tends to occur with children under the age of 3. As healthy as it is for a child to explore new objects with their mouths to stimulate their senses, it is also potentially very dangerous. It is important that this freedom is given to your child under consistent supervision.

In the unlikely event that your child swallows a magnet or battery, call your child’s doctor and bring them to the emergency room immediately. If a battery is swallowed by your toddler, they could experience serious damage within just two hours. Batteries have the potential of burning through the stomach lining if they are not removed or safely passed in a timely manner. Look out for signs of nausea, vomiting, and or fever.

Another, just as dangerous item is a magnet. Swallowing a magnet could cause major disruption in your child’s GI tract. All pennies forged before 1982 contain corrosive Zinc which could potentially cause serious damage to the oesophagus. In the case that any of these hazardous items are swallowed by your child promptly call your local medical emergency line.

foreign objects a child can possibly swallow

By no means should you induce vomiting on your own, give your child a laxative, or feed your child to help push the item down. It is best for your child if you remain calm and clear-headed in order to focus on bringing them in to receive medical attention as soon as possible. If, for some reason, you do need to wait for the ingested item to pass all hope naturally is not lost.

Studies have shown that approximately 80 percent of the time the item will be out within 4-6 days. Rare cases have shown that the object could take as long as 4 weeks to pass through the system in a safe manner. In any case, this process should be closely monitored by a trained physician to avoid any fatal complications from occurring.

Signs and Symptoms

If your child has swallowed any kind of foreign object, or you suspect they may have, urgently check for any symptoms that arise. Obvious and immediate reactions include coughing, choking, vomiting, gagging, difficulty breathing, and throat or chest pain. If your child shows any of these symptoms pat them firmly on the back, perform the Heimlich manoeuvre, or perform CPR and call your local medical emergency line.

More serious symptoms due to a more deeply logged item include abdominal pain, fever, loss of appetite, and drooling. Promptly notify your doctor if any of these symptoms surfaces for your child. If the item is small enough and harmless to your toddler, it is best to be patient and allow the item to pass naturally.

A coin that is swallowed may become logged in the intestinal tract and cause bleeding. To be certain your toddler swallowed a coin, check their stools for dark coloring. This indicates blood coming from deep within the lining of your child’s intestines. If your child swallowed a foreign object and it remains in their system for an extensive amount of time, there is a risk for infection to your child’s digestive system.

If this is a suspicion, look out for signs of wheezing, a fever, and/ or coughing up phlegm. In this instance, call your child’s paediatrician and bring them to the emergency room immediately.

Possible Treatments

toddler safety tips

For any level of severity in symptoms shown by your child swallowing a coin or foreign object, treatment should always proceed once the child’s physician has been notified. If the item swallowed is not fatally detrimental to your child it is safe to allow the item to pass naturally. Give your child meals during their normal eating schedule and keep them sufficiently hydrated.

If the situation is severe enough to bring your child into the ER, they will most likely take an x-ray of your child or perform an endoscopy. Once these procedures are complete, the doctor will move forward with a treatment that will best remove the object as safely as possible. Keep in mind that the most necessary treatment to remove a swallowed foreign object may be major or minor surgery.

Baby Safety Gates Prevent Your Child from Swallowing Coins

Precaution is the most effective way to ensure your child’s safety. By installing appropriate baby barriers, you are protecting them from the temptation of picking up any tiny items with their curious fingers that don’t belong anywhere near their mouth. Creating a safe environment for your child will help them to be more confident in their pursuit to explore their surroundings. To be prepared with the best child safety at home, view Perma Child Safety’s range of baby safety gates here. Childproof your home and keep your beautiful family safe.


If your curious kid ingests a foreign object, we hope these helpful toddler safety tips will be a guide through this potentially stressful and traumatic situation. Above all else, prevention is the most important mindset for the well-being and safety of your family.