Ingested foreign bodies in children

Dr Ian Bickle et al.

Ingested foreign bodies in children are common as the world is a curious place to young children, who will put anything and everything into their mouth, and will often inadvertently swallow. 

The usual practice is for plain films of the chest/abdomen to identify a foreign body.

Peak incidence of foreign body ingestion is between six months and six years 1

Approximately 50% of children will be asymptomatic 2

Coins are the most commonly ingested foreign body 3, along with toys, batteries, bones, and almost anything that can fit into a child's mouth. 

Plain radiograph
  • in one study ~65% of ingested foreign bodies were radiodense 2

Most foreign bodies make it into the stomach and beyond with up to 80% passing spontaneously 1. Batteries have a high rate of complication and should be urgently removed 3

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Article Information

rID: 31003
Section: Gamuts
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Paediatric foreign body ingestion

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Cases and Figures

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    Case 1
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    Case 2: magnets
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    Case 3
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    Case 4: marble
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    Case 5: ring
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    Case 6: nail
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    Case 7
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    Case 8: pen
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    Upside down "Spon...
    Case 9: Spongebob Squarepants
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    Case 10: Mickey Mouse
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    Rounded radio opa...
    Case 11
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    The vertebral col...
    Case 12
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    Case 13: button battery in oesophagus
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