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Pediatrics/Infant swallowing foreign objects


Hi Dr. Olson,

My son is 15 months. He likes to pick up things and put into his mouth. A month ago he swallowed one of my earrings. Fortunately it was passed in the stool the next day. My question is although we are watching carefully, there could be chance that he swallows things without our notice. If this happens, will it cause serious problem in the future? I have learned from web search that most foreign objects will be passed safely, but some can stay in the system. He is too young and I don't want him to go through x-ray.

How dangerous swallowed foreign objects can be?

Thank you so much for answering my question.

Michelle (a worried mom)

Hi, Michelle,

George Harrison said it best: "all things must pass".  I think I already answered this, but if not, use the XR if needed and this is really safe.  Your doctor can make a decision as to whether in the future this will be clinically helpful.  

Sorry if this is a duplicate answer.

Good luck, Dr. Olson


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David Olson, MD


I would be happy to attempt to answer any questions about general pediatric topics, either medical issues or behavioral issues. This would include all the various questions one receives in a busy pediatric practice. I`m a board certified pediatrician in northern Michigan and have been in practice for over 15 years. I enjoy the teaching role I have in our practice and would enjoy the opportunity to help others with their pediatric problems.

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