Thursday, September 24, 2009

When Kids Swallow Things II

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By Dr Bill Maier

Would you know what to do if your child swallowed something harmful?

Babies are always putting things in their mouths and sometimes they swallow things they shouldn't, like buttons or coins or even tiny toy parts. About 90 per cent of these things pass through their system in a couple of days with no harm. But sometimes things can get lodged in the stomach and this can cause problems.

Coins are a common item that kids swallow, and some are made of zinc. When zinc mixes with stomach acid it begins to corrode and break down. This can cause ulcers or severe sickness. Button batteries, like you find in watches or cell phones, can cause the same damage if they're swallowed.

If you know your child has ingested something, don't panic, but keep a close eye to make sure it passes through their system. Watch for signs of nausea or sickness. And call your pediatrician or poison control centre if you have any questions.

From TODAY, Voices – Friday, 28-Aug-2009

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