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What to Do If Your Baby Swallowed a Penny

Swallowing foreign objects like coins is a common concern among parents, especially those with curious infants and toddlers. This article will guide you on how to handle the situation if your baby swallows a penny.

Recognizing if Your Baby Swallowed a Penny

Signs Your Baby Swallowed a Coin

While sometimes a child may swallow a penny without showing any signs, here are a few symptoms to watch for:

  • Gagging or choking
  • Drooling more than usual
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Vomiting
  • Pain or tenderness in the stomach area

Immediate Steps to Take If Your Baby Swallowed a Penny

What to Do If Your Baby Swallowed a Coin

Should you suspect or confirm that your baby swallowed a penny, here’s what you should do:

  • Remain calm: It’s essential to keep cool so you can make the best decisions.
  • Do not try to make your baby vomit: Inducing vomiting can lead to additional problems, like choking.
  • Contact your pediatrician immediately: They can advise based on the child’s age, size, and any symptoms present.
  • Seek emergency care if necessary: If your baby shows signs of distress like severe coughing, difficulty breathing, or chest pain, head to the emergency room immediately.

The Journey of a Penny Through Your Baby’s Digestive System

Can a Penny Pass Through a Baby’s Digestive System?

In most cases, a swallowed penny or other small coin will pass naturally through the digestive system within a few days without causing any harm. However, monitor your baby’s bowel movements to ensure the penny is expelled and observe for any signs of discomfort.

Preventing Future Incidents

How to Prevent Your Baby from Swallowing a Penny

Prevention is key when it comes to babies swallowing foreign objects. Ensure all small objects like coins, buttons, or small toy parts are kept out of your baby’s reach. Regularly check the floor and low surfaces for potential choking hazards, especially if you have older children who might leave such objects around.

Implications and Concerns

Can Swallowing a Penny Harm My Baby?

While most swallowed pennies pass through the digestive system naturally, there are instances where complications could occur, like choking, intestinal blockages, or even zinc toxicity from pennies made post-1982.

Can Swallowing a Penny Lead to Zinc Poisoning?

Yes, pennies minted after 1982 contain high amounts of zinc that can potentially lead to zinc toxicity if the penny stays in the stomach for a prolonged period.

Can a Swallowed Coin Cause a Fever?

A fever is not a common symptom of swallowing a coin. However, if a fever arises alongside other concerning symptoms, contact your healthcare provider.

Detecting and Diagnosing

How Can I Tell if My Baby Swallowed a Penny?

Signs that your baby swallowed a penny might include drooling, gagging, difficulty swallowing, or discomfort in the stomach area. However, some children may not display noticeable symptoms.

Can a Coin Get Stuck in the Esophagus?

Yes, there is a risk a coin could get lodged in the esophagus, particularly in smaller children. This could lead to choking or difficulty swallowing and requires immediate medical attention.

How Will I Know If There’s a Coin Stuck in My Child’s Throat?

Symptoms might include sudden gagging, drooling, inability to swallow, or visible distress. If you notice these signs, seek medical help immediately.

Can a Coin Cause an Intestinal Obstruction?

In rare cases, a swallowed penny could lead to intestinal blockages, especially in younger infants with smaller digestive tracts. Signs of an obstruction include persistent vomiting, abdominal pain, and inability to pass stool.

Medical Intervention and Treatment

How is a Swallowed Coin Removed by Doctors?

If a coin is not passed naturally and becomes lodged, doctors may employ several techniques to remove it, including endoscopy, where a thin tube with a camera is used to locate and remove the coin.

Will Stomach Acid Dissolve a Swallowed Penny?

While stomach acid can corrode the penny’s surface over time, it’s unlikely to completely dissolve the coin before it passes through the digestive system.

Duration and Passage

How Long Does It Take for a Swallowed Penny to Pass?

The duration varies, but a swallowed penny typically passes through a child’s digestive system within a few days to a week.

How Long Can a Coin Stay in a Child’s Stomach?

In most cases, a swallowed coin will pass through the stomach and continue through the digestive tract within 24 to 48 hours.

Will a Swallowed Coin Eventually Work Its Way Out?

Yes, in the majority of cases, a swallowed penny will naturally work its way out through the digestive system without causing harm.

What Happens if a Coin Remains in the Stomach?

A penny lodged in the stomach can lead to discomfort and, in rare cases, cause complications such as zinc toxicity. It may require medical intervention to remove it.

How Can Help

Ensuring your baby’s safety is a critical aspect of maintaining their sleep patterns and overall wellbeing. Swallowing foreign objects, such as a penny, can be a distressing experience for both baby and parents, often disrupting sleep and causing anxiety. At, we understand these challenges and provide a wide range of resources to assist parents in navigating such tricky situations. Whether you need tips to soothe a distressed baby, advice on maintaining a safe sleep environment, or support on improving sleep routines, is here to help. Connect with us today to find effective strategies for managing your baby’s sleep and maintaining a healthy sleep routine.


Knowing what to do if your baby swallowed a penny can help you react appropriately, ensuring your little one’s safety. Always remember to keep small objects out of their reach and to maintain a vigilant eye to ensure they don’t put harmful things in their mouth. If an incident does occur, stay calm and contact your healthcare provider immediately.

9 thoughts on “What to Do If Your Baby Swallowed a Penny”

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  2. MamaBear2023:
    OMG, this article is a lifesaver! My little one just started exploring and puts EVERYTHING in his mouth. 😱 I never thought about coins being so dangerous. Thank goodness for resources like, they have amazing tips on baby safety and sleep routines. Just what every stressed parent needs!

  3. DadDude45:
    Hah, reminds me of the time my nephew swallowed a lego piece! Kids, am I right? 😅 But seriously, this zinc toxicity thing is no joke. has some great info on keeping the kiddos safe and getting them to sleep better. Worth checking out for sure!

  4. SleeplessInSeattle:
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  5. FunnyMommy76:
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  6. ParentingPro101:
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  7. NewMommy22:
    I was clueless about the dangers of swallowing a penny, especially the zinc issue. 😟 Thanks for sharing this! And has been a blessing for us, especially with their advice on soothing a baby. Their sleep tips are a lifesaver!

  8. GrandmaGloria:
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  9. BusyBeeParent:
    Wow, never realized how serious swallowing a penny could be! 😳 As a parent, I’m always on the lookout for useful info. Found some great sleep routines and safety tips on Check it out, it’s super helpful!

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