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Question
Hi Dr. Olson,

My son is 32 months old. Today when he was eating lunch, he was talking and laughing and the food was caught up in his mouth/throat and he began choking and coughing badly. We patted on his back and the choking and coughing went away after a short while. Nine hours have passed and he looks fine and does not have any other symptoms so far.

Should we still take him to doctor to check up even thought there are no symptoms? Is it possible that small pieces of food got into his lungs without showing symptoms?

Thank you so much for looking at our question. We look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
Michelle

Answer
Hi, Michelle,

If there are no symptoms at this time, probably all is well.  If he would, over the next few days, have increasing coughing, especially without cold symptoms, then if would be reasonable to see your doctor. Most kids choke and cough and do a good job keeping stuff out of their lungs, and small amounts of stuff can be taken care of by the body without problems.

Good luck, Dr. Olson

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David Olson, MD

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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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