Dr Anuj Rastogi, Neonatal-Pediatrician at Jaswant Rai Speciality Hospital and his team had a harrowing experience when an 8-month-old baby came to them with a pendant stuck in his throat.
He was playing with it and accidentally ingested the locket. It was then that it got stuck in his throat and he began choking; leading to what is medically called ingesting an esophageal foreign body.
8-Month-Old Ingests Esophageal Foreign Body, Saved By Doctors
Image courtesy: Dr Rastogi /LinkedIn
After the baby swallowed the pendant, his parents rushed him to Dr Rastogi’s OPD. An X-ray was conducted and the sharp-edged pendant was seen lodged in the child’s neck area (image above).
The doctor then started an endoscopy procedure to take the locket out. But the greatest challenge for the doctor was to remove the locket without any internal injury.
The locket was stuck in a way that with the slightest force it could easily tear the 8-month-old’s food pipe. It was at this stage that anaesthesiologist, Dr Gagandeep Singh Bajaj changed his strategy and encouraged Dr Rastogi to try again.
“It was his experience and spirits that brought back my courage. I gathered myself, chanted all mantras I knew of, and gave it the best try – and we finally could pull it out. The child was safe!” shared the doctor in a detailed LinkedIn post.
He concluded by alerting parents to keep a close watch on babies and ensure that their toys are safe and can’t be ingested.
“There should be no small objects within the reach of your child. Most of the time you have no clue what happened and the child lands up in some serious accident,” he alerted.
Dr Rastogi and his team’s expertise saved the baby. But not every child is as lucky. Therefore, it is advisable to take necessary precautions to avoid such a situation from happening in the first place.
From awareness about the common choking edible hazards, to childproofing your house, you must be ready and armed with knowledge.
Foods & Objects That Can Become An Esophageal Foreign Body In Kids
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As you know, children usually between the ages of 6 months and 4 years are habitual of swallowing objects. Therefore, it is important to not only ensure safety with toys but also with food.
In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics also urges parents to take note that their chosen baby snacks meet these standards: soft, easy to swallow and are cut into small pieces.
Here are some common food items that can get stuck in your baby’s esophagus.
In addition to food, other objects including button batteries that are used in remote controls are also a cause for major concern. If they get lodged in a child’s esophagus, they can wear away the food pipe wall within hours.
If you suspect your child may have swallowed a button battery, seek medical care immediately.
Watch Out For The 7 Symptoms Of Choking In Kids
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If an object is stuck in your child’s esophagus, they may have the following symptoms:
Drool, vomit or refuse to eat
Complain of chest pain, neck pain
Blood in their stool
If you spot any of these, immediately rush your child to the doctor. However, the best way to avoid any such problems is by being cautious and aware.
11 Ways To Prevent Children From Ingesting Esophageal Foreign Body
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Never give babies and toddlers toys that come with small and removal parts.
Don’t give them remote-controlled toys. Make it a rule that to first discard the batteries, the moment, a remote control toy enters your home, especially if your child is particularly happy to play with it.
Don’t leave your wallet or purse near their reach. They may get tempted to play with small coins.
Always supervise your child while they are have their meals.
Cut food in small parts and encourage them to chew well before swallowing.
Be extremely mindful of your own behaviour. Never use a toothpick or any sharp objects between your lips or in your mouth. They may not understand your purpose and may try to imitate you.
Teach your kids not to put pencils, crayons, and erasers near their mouth ears, and eyes.
While buying toys, always check the recommended age.
Keep all the small refrigerator magnets out of your child’s reach.
It is important to childproof your home. Get down on your hands and knees in every room to get a kid’s-eye view. You should remove and lock away items that could be dangerous for your little ones.
From 24 months onwards, your kid will become a confident eater. But there’s still a choking hazard. You should discourage your child from multitasking—when he’s eating.
Inspite of all the precautions, accidents can happen. In such situations, know that there are things you can immediately to help your loved ones.
It is always advisable for new parents to learn CPR and take up a class on first aid for children. Same goes for any caretakers at home. A quick medical aid can salvage the situation.