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Lindie, Healthcare Expert
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Experience:  17+ years, Healthcare Expert
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My daughter accidentially swallowed the pop-top cap from a ...

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My daughter accidentially swallowed the pop-top cap from a soda can. She is 13 years old. What if anything should I do? Will she pass it the normal way? Will she feel any "ill" effects? In case I didn't make myself clear.. it is the small metal top on a can of soda that you pop to open the looks like a metal ring about a 1/2" in diameter. Please let me know something!!

If you see your child swallowing a foreign object before you can intervene and any of these signs and symptoms occur, take action right away:

  • Trouble breathing, speaking or crying
  • Ineffective coughing
  • Wheezing or noisy breathing
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Drooling or spitting up saliva
  • Loss of consciousness

Reactions like these may mean that the object is partially blocking the larynx or trachea, making it difficult to breathe. A child who is choking can neither speak, cough nor cry out, and he or she will lose consciousness within a few minutes if the airway isn't cleared. Call 911 or emergency medical assistance and perform the Heimlich maneuver.

Drooling and other signs of inability to swallow usually mean that the foreign object has gotten stuck in the esophagus — another dangerous situation. Dial 911 or call for emergency medical assistance immediately.

Generally, though, if the object is not one of the corrosive items discussed, the best thing to do is to observe your child closely for a few days, checking all stools to see if the object has passed. If the child vomits, stops eating or complains of abdominal pain at any time during this period, call your doctor. The swallowed object may have become lodged lower in the digestive tract. Likewise, if your child does not pass the object in four to five days, call your doctor.

Call your doctor immediately or go to the hospital emergency room if your child develops discomfort hours or even days after swallowing a foreign object. Your child may need X-rays to help determine the location of the object.

You can read more here.

On a personal note, I had 2 of my 3 children swallow dimes. I had taken them both to the ER to have an x ray taken. Neither appeared to be in pain or gasp for air. My one child did end up passing his within 24 hours. The 2nd child ended up getting hers caught behind her tonsils. So even though the chances are high that she may pass it, I personally would be a bit concerned mainly because when you take off that pop tab, it has a slight sharp metal on that end, which I would be afraid could cause possible damage. It may not, but it's possible. So you may want to call her doctor, or just take her to get an x ray and make sure it did go down and will not have a problem passing when it starts to come out.

Good luck to you both, If you need anything else please feel free to ask. If you found this helpful don’t forget to click the *accept* button!

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