Can your child swallow a quarter?

Because mine can. Which I discovered yesterday after he came to me clutching his chest, sobbing that he had.

I was skeptical for a moment, wondering if he really knew what he was saying. Besides, he had learned long ago ago not to put money or other non-food objects in his mouth. But then I remembered that childhood lessons are often learned through experience because parental council is ignored.

I pulled out a nickel, dime, penny and quarter and asked him to point the one he had swallowed. Yes, he pointed to the quarter and it was then that I called the doctor. I assumed she would tell me it would just pass on through and to not worry, instead she told me to take him to the ER immediately.

I grabbed the baby, called the hubby and took my kids out the door. I figured the situation was not immediately life threatening so was pretty calm until my 4 year old boy looked up at me and said with tears in his eyes, “Aw miss you.”

“What do you mean you’ll miss me?” I asked
“Cause I gonna died,” he said.

Yeah. I lost it.

“You are not going to die sweetie. You’ll be ok.” I said as we both cried.

Once at the hospital the ER staff was quick and friendly. They took an x-ray of Obi Wan’s tummy and we saw the quarter sitting in his tummy (darn that I didn’t have my camera on me to show you how big it looked in his little body). He thought that was very cool.

They made us walk around for another hour to make sure the quarter could move past the sphincter (which if it didn’t we would have been transferred to another hospital to have it removed using a scope).

Thankfully, the x-ray taken an hour later showed that the quarter had moved into his intestines. Upon being discharged the nurse explained what symptoms to watch for that would tell us if it got stuck, but she reassured us that it really ought to pass through fine and get pooped out in a couple of days. Upon hearing this Obi-Wan, in his high pitched loud voice yelled, “COME OUT IN MY POOP?!?!?!?!? Oh, I gotta go poop wight now!” A chorus of laughter could be heard from patients, nurses and doctors. Yeah, that’s my boy.

I can’t tell you how thankful I am he swallowed it whole instead of choking on it. Now I suppose it’s time to clean out the couches so he’s not tempted by anymore stray coins.

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Comments (27)

cherylMay 8th, 2008 at 12:37 pm

Oh, Summer! You made me cry (literally, I was bawling here), and then you made me laugh right through the tears. I’m so glad he’s okay! And I never realized how important it would be to go to the ER with coin swallowing. I’ll remember that!

HeatherMay 8th, 2008 at 1:14 pm

I’m so glad he was ok! My great grandmother swallowed a nickel. It was lodged in her throat for over a year. She lived on basically milk and broth. Finally there was a doctor who agreed to try and remove it. He was successful. We have the newspaper article that was written about her. I guess it was pretty amazing news in the late 1800s!

Memarie LaneMay 8th, 2008 at 1:15 pm

Somehow I don’t think that poop will be much fun.

feenerMay 8th, 2008 at 1:22 pm

is it strange that i am looking forward to your post about when you find it ???

HollyMay 8th, 2008 at 2:49 pm

Oh, they say the darndest things don’t they? Wow, a quarter is so big too. I’m so glad it didn’t get stuck. I guess this means he’ll be excited to use the potty all weekend, right?

KarleneMay 8th, 2008 at 3:00 pm

What a gifted child! Mine didn’t swallow quarters, but they did stick beads and straws and other items up their noses.

BethnMay 8th, 2008 at 3:27 pm

Oh my! I feel your pain and anxiety. It’s amazing what kids will put in their mouths isn’t it?

LizaMay 8th, 2008 at 3:48 pm

Is it bad that your post made me laugh? Oh my gosh! I am glad that he’s gonna be a-ok though. Do you have to make sure the quarter passes? Cuz I’m gonna say that I think I would probably say it isn’t worth it. As long as you aren’t showing the symptoms the nurse talked about, that quarter’s being flushed. Oh my!

KimberlyMay 8th, 2008 at 5:22 pm

Oh hun! Owie!

We had Emma into the hospital the other day and they printed a copy of the x-rays for us. Just gas, but oi, was I freaked out! So glad he’s okay!

anordinarymomMay 8th, 2008 at 7:40 pm

Sometimes kids really do have to learn lessons on their own.

I hope the passage isn’t too painful for him!

HillaryMay 8th, 2008 at 7:59 pm

Oh my gosh! I’m glad he’s OK!

Richelle FMay 8th, 2008 at 8:43 pm

How scary! I’m glad he is OK! Hope everything “comes out” OK :)

aubreyMay 8th, 2008 at 11:49 pm

holy moly that is so scary!! i’m so glad he’s okay!

KennaMay 9th, 2008 at 12:34 am

Oh my gosh. I would have completely lost it when he said those words. Because, you know… what if he “knew”? I know, it went without saying and then I had to say it. Sorry.

Hope it doesn’t hurt too bad :( Poor guy!

MichelleMay 9th, 2008 at 11:19 am

My boy swallowed a penny…well, I thought he had just swallowed one penny. I guess since a penny isn’t as big as a quarter it wasn’t as urgent to go to the ER. The doctor told me to watch for it and if I hadn’t seen it come out within a week I needed to take him in for X-rays. That was one of the worst things…finding a penny in his poop. Well, almost a week to the day I found two pennies. To this day he still tells me that he doesn’t want me to smash his poop to find the penny…”I want it big Mommy!” Anyway, I am glad your boy is OK. What a joy! Good luck treasure hunting…latex gloves work great.

loniMay 9th, 2008 at 1:52 pm

Oh my goodness! What a story! Especially the “Aw miss you”, I bet your heart stopped right there. And then the “I’m gonna poop right now!” LOL, that’s great.

KellanMay 9th, 2008 at 8:10 pm

I’m glad he should be okay! This was such a cute story - so glad he is going to be okay. Have a good Mother’s Day Summer - see you later - Kellan

LaurieMay 9th, 2008 at 10:37 pm

Scary!!!! I’m so glad it turned out good and that now he has a cool story to tell. A quarter is really big.

LeslieMay 9th, 2008 at 10:52 pm

This post scares me! I can so see Baby Boy doing this! I’m so glad that Obi Wan didn’t have to have it scoped!

Jen BallifMay 10th, 2008 at 8:26 am

What an experience!! I’m so glad that it passed the stomach alright and you didn’t need surgery. His poop comment made me laugh out loud. Little kids are so funny.

PaigeMay 11th, 2008 at 9:49 am

Oh, my goodness! That IS so scary, especially when the doctor says to go to the ER now, and he thinks he’s going to die. I’m glad it didn’t have to be scoped out. I had a friend (a grown woman) swallow a straight pin. That made a great story.

NatalieMay 12th, 2008 at 12:58 am

Mickey and I are laughing so hard we’re crying…
Buy some latex gloves, won’t you please, Dearie?

Deb - Mom of 3 GirlsMay 12th, 2008 at 1:23 pm

Oh my. I’m glad that it seems to be passing ok and hope that everything comes out fine on the ‘other end’. I caught Hannah with a penny in her mouth the other day, which was just crazy because I was sure that she knew better. Guess not.

emily's momMay 12th, 2008 at 2:58 pm

There was an old joke about a kid who swallowed a quarter and a week later his father said that there was no change.

More than 55 years ago, I swallowed a metal screw that I found on the floor of our brand new Studebaker. I remember how shiny and bright it was - so shiny that I had to put it in my mouth to feel its sparkling smoothness on my tongue. I rolled it around, feeling the contrast between the shiny smooth head and the rough grooves of the threads, turning it over in my mouth, feeling its sharp point. And then I was so surprised when it disappeared. Where did it go? About this time my mother discovered me with a funny look on my face. “What did you do?” she asked. “I fwawwo de nawo” I sobbed (2 1/2-year-old speak for ‘I swallowed the nail’ - I didn’t know the word for screw but I knew it was sort of like a nail)

So we rushed off to the hospital where an xray showed the screw descending through my intestines with its head downward. The doctors told my mother to feed me oatmeal and applesauce. She had me use a little metal chamber pot so she could hear the screw clink against the metal when it came out… Which is did in a few days…

When I put it in my mouth it had been so very shiny but now it was rusty and pitted from stomach acid… My mother kept both the x-ray and the screw among other family objects (a collar from the much-loved dog who passed away in 1963, the key to my brother’s trombone case, a 12″ braid of my sister’s hair that she chopped off in a whim). When we cleaned out her house last year, it was finally time to toss them away…

So, yes, kids do swallow stuff. And, yes, they do live to tell about it!

ChildlifeMay 13th, 2008 at 2:35 pm

Oh noooooooo!!!! Poor little guy! :( I attempted to swallow a penny when I was his age and ended up with it in my windpipe. A really fun ER visit for my mom…

So glad he’s OK!!

jenniferMarch 30th, 2009 at 6:33 pm

EEK! :blink:
I once did that! You must have been so scared! Awww!
I’m so happy he’s O.K. :smile:

DebbieAugust 17th, 2009 at 2:17 am

My grandosn swallowed a quater that was meant to be spent on a gum ball, as of yet he has not passed it. He said it hurt after he swallowed it but drank some sprite and soon he felt fine, no doctor or ER visit but still praying it will be passed. We are keeping a close watch over him. Glad all your kids are ok, I feel alittle better reading your stories. Kids! Never a dull moment, but love them so much.

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