What To Do If Your Child Swallows A Foreign Object

DocChildThroat.jpgWhile most moms like to think they have eyes in the back of their head, it can be difficult to keep track of your child every second of every day. Because infants and toddlers are naturally curious, they tend to put various items in their mouths, putting them at high risk for swallowing a foreign object. In some instances, your child may be able to pass the object; however, some cases may require surgery.

THE RISK

The majority of people that swallow foreign objects are under the age of 3. Infants and toddlers left unsupervised are at an increased risk. It’s important to keep the following objects out of the reach of children under the age of 3:

  • Coins
  • Small batteries
  • Buttons
  • Marbles
  • Rocks
  • Nails
  • Screws
  • Pins
  • Small magnets

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IDENTIFYING THE PROBLEM

The most common symptoms that can help you know if your child has swallowed a foreign object are choking, difficulty breathing, coughing and wheezing. If the object has already passed onto the digestive tract, there may be no immediate symptoms. If the item has become lodged in the esophagus or bowel, your child may experience vomiting, drooling, gagging, chest or throat pain, refusal to eat, abdominal pain and fever.

TREATING THE PROBLEM

If your child is unable to breath because the foreign object has blocked the airway, emergency treatment is necessary. You may be able to remove the object by using back blows, the Heimlich maneuver, or CPR. If you suspect a battery has been swallowed, your child should be seen immediately. Batteries can cause erosion of the wall of the GI tract and will need to be removed.

If the object appears to be swallowed completely with no choking necessary, you may be able to wait for it to pass naturally. If the foreign object is causing pain or damage to the bowels, surgery may be needed.

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If your child has swallowed a foreign object that needs to be removed immediately, consider visiting Medical City Children’s Urgent Care. We have pediatricians that are board certified, offer convenient access to the expert care you need right when you need it and are even open after hours or on the weekend.

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you or your child.

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What to Do If an Animal Bites Your Child

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When children see a furry animal, like a dog, their first instinct is often to embrace the animal with a hug or aggressive pet. While the intentions are usually pure, the dog may take this physical touch the wrong way and react. If an animal bites your child, there are several actions you need to take immediately.

  • Control the Bleeding: If the bite is bad enough to break skin, you need to control any bleeding as soon as possible. Use a clean washcloth or towel to gently apply pressure to the wound until the bleeding subsides. If the bite is severe enough, you may need to elevate the injured area.
  • Clean the Bite: As soon as the bleeding has stopped, clean the site of the injury with soap and water. If possible, hold the affected area under running water for a bit to rinse the bacteria away.
  • Cover the Area: After drying and gently placing antibiotic ointment on the dog bite, cover the area with a fresh bandage to keep infection from occurring.
  • Seek Information: If you can determine the owner of the animal, it’s important to find out whether the dog is up-to-date on shots and other vetting.
  • Visit a Doctor: If your child’s bite breaks skin, you should seek a doctor immediately. Typically a bite of this nature will require antibiotic therapy to prevent infection.

If you don’t know the animal that bit your child, you should see a doctor immediately as a rabies shot may be necessary. It’s also important to seek medical care if the wound is very deep or if the bite is on your child’s face.

If your child has suffered a dog bite and is need of medical care, consider visiting Medical City Children’s Urgent Care. We have kid-friendly physicians that are board-eligible in family medicine or emergency medicine, offer convenient access to the expert care you need right when you need it and are even open after hours or on the weekend.

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you or your child.

Teaching Your Child After-School Safety

MomNDaughterSchool.jpgAs your child gets ready to head back to school, you’ve likely met their teacher, bought all new school supplies and even stocked the fridge with plenty of after-school snacks. However, it’s imperative you walk through potential after-school safety issues as well. Whether your child walks home from school, stays late for after-school activities or takes the bus home immediately following classes, there are precautions you and your child should always take.

Pick-ups

Most of the time, after-school pick-ups are the safest route to go. However, it’s important that you let the school know if someone is picking your child up other than you. When picking up your child, determine a specific time and meeting place. If he or she isn’t at the pre-decided spot at the right time, you may know something isn’t right.

Walking

If your child is planning to walk home from school, it’s important you know the exact route he or she takes each day. If your child is younger, walk the route with them the first couple of trips to ensure they don’t get lost.  You can also help other children by driving slowly when in school zones or other routine paths that children take.

Stay at Home

If your child is going to stay at home alone after school, make sure they have a key to the house. They should know to always lock all doors and windows as soon as they get home and to not open them to anyone. Emergency contact information should be easily accessible as well.

Strangers

No matter if your child is being picked up after school or walking home, it’s smart to review potential stranger dangers with them. Teach your child to always make loud noises when being approached by a stranger that makes them feel uncomfortable. Also make sure your child knows where to run for help if needed.

For more safety tips, continue to check in on the Medical City Children’s Urgent Care blog. Medical City Children’s Urgent Care is a kid-friendly medical facility dedicated to providing children the best possible care.

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you or your child.