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Emergency Guide: What to Do When Your Kid Swallows a Lego

One of the most common calls pediatricians receive from frantic parents begins with, “My kid swallowed a Lego!” Small, colorful, and ubiquitous in homes with children, Lego pieces can be a surprisingly common hazard. This post aims to help you understand what to do in such a situation.

Initial Steps to Take If Your Child Swallows a Lego

If you suspect that your child has swallowed a Lego piece, it’s crucial not to panic. Often, small objects like Lego pieces will pass through the child’s system without causing harm. Here are some initial steps to take:

  • Assess the Situation: If your child is not choking and seems otherwise normal, chances are the Lego piece is not obstructing their airway.
  • Observe for Symptoms: Watch your child for signs of discomfort, pain, vomiting, or difficulty swallowing or breathing.
  • Seek Medical Attention: If your child displays any concerning symptoms, take them to the nearest healthcare provider immediately.

When to Seek Immediate Medical Attention

While it’s typically not an emergency, some cases might require immediate medical attention:

  • Choking: If the Lego piece is causing an obstruction, perform the Heimlich maneuver and call your local emergency services.
  • Persistent Symptoms: If your child exhibits any discomfort, pain, vomiting, or difficulty swallowing or breathing, take them to the ER immediately.
  • Lack of Bowel Movement: If you don’t notice the Lego piece in your child’s stools after a few days, or if your child has not had a bowel movement for more than a couple of days, seek medical help.

Preventive Measures: How to Keep Your Child Safe

Preventing Lego ingestion is the best way to keep your child safe. Here are some tips to ensure your child plays safely:

  • Supervision: Always supervise your child while they are playing with Legos, especially if they tend to put objects in their mouth.
  • Age-Appropriate Toys: Ensure the toys you give your child are appropriate for their age and development stage. Small pieces like Legos are not recommended for children under the age of three.

Understanding the Incident

Is it dangerous if my child swallows a Lego?

While it’s not ideal, most of the time, small objects like Lego bricks will pass through a child’s digestive system without causing any harm. However, you should still monitor your child closely for any signs of distress.

Are Legos toxic?

No, Legos are non-toxic. They are made from a plastic known as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), which is considered safe and non-toxic to humans.

What happens if a child swallows a toy, like a Lego?

When a child swallows a Lego or any small toy, it typically passes through the digestive system and is expelled in the stool. However, if your child exhibits discomfort, pain, or difficulty swallowing, you should seek immediate medical attention.

Medical Considerations

Will a swallowed Lego show up on an x-ray?

Yes, Lego bricks will typically show up on an x-ray, which can help determine its location and if there is any risk of blockage in the digestive tract.

How do doctors remove swallowed objects?

If the swallowed object causes a blockage or distress, a medical professional may need to remove it. This could involve an endoscopy, where a thin tube is used to locate and retrieve the object. In rare cases, surgery may be required.

How can I tell if my child has something stuck in their esophagus?

If a swallowed object like a Lego gets stuck, your child may show signs like drooling, gagging, difficulty swallowing, chest pain, or refusal to eat. Seek immediate medical attention if these symptoms occur.

Aftercare and Prevention

What should I do if my child swallows a Lego?

If your child swallows a Lego, stay calm. Ensure your child is not choking, and if they seem fine, the object will likely pass naturally. However, monitor your child for any signs of discomfort or distress. If in doubt, contact your healthcare provider for advice.

How long does it take for a swallowed Lego to pass through the body?

Typically, it can take anywhere from 24 hours to a week for a swallowed object to pass through the body. Check your child’s stool for the Lego piece to confirm it’s passed, but avoid causing any distress or embarrassment.

How can I ensure the safety of my child around small toys like Legos?

Make sure to supervise young children while they’re playing with small toys. Teach them about the dangers of putting non-food items in their mouth. Always follow the age recommendations on toy packaging as they’re designed with child safety in mind.

How Can Help

At, we understand the challenges that come with parenthood, including the unexpected ones like dealing with swallowed objects. Navigating these situations can be stressful and might affect your child’s sleep patterns, and that’s where we can help.

At, we offer expert advice and strategies on various topics, including how to soothe a restless child, establish sleep routines, and maintain a calm environment, all of which can be helpful in situations like these. Our mission is to make your parenting journey a little easier and help your child get the restful sleep they need for their overall well-being.

In Conclusion

Remember, “My kid swallowed a Lego!” is not usually a cause for panic. Most times, the piece will pass naturally. But it’s important to monitor your child and seek medical help if any concerning symptoms arise. And of course, prevention is always the best cure – so ensure safe play by supervising your little ones closely.