My Kid Swallowed a Marble! Should I Worry?

Kids are often a curious lot, and as they explore their everyday environment, their fingers and mouth do the donkey work. Besides the curiosity, they do not comprehend the dangers that accompany any of the objects they are handling. Marbles rank among the most common of foreign objects your little one may either accidentally or intentionally swallow. 

The good news is that most of them can smoothly glide via the esophagus, through the stomach, and into the intestine. At this juncture, you also have to be on poop watch to ascertain the marble is out within several days of ingestion.

Are You Poop Watch Averse?

The days following marble ingestion are quite critical, as you should be watching and inspecting your child’s poop. It would help if you ascertained that your kid had passed the object normally through their gastrointestinal tract. Without this evidence, your mind can never be at peace, and not knowing the exact location in the body where the marble could be hidden. As disgusting as searching through poop can be, parents worried that their kid would gladly check every drop.

Most marbles are made of smooth glass and do not have any sharp edges to cause harm to your child’s delicate intestinal lining. The expectation is that the marble will eventually appear through the fecal matter. At this point, patience is key. While the marble comes out in a few days for some patients, it could take much longer for others. Give it a week at most, and if nothing happens, then seek pediatrician advice.

Can the Marble Get Stuck Elsewhere in the Body?

According to gastrointestinal experts, the most probable place a marble can get stuck at is the esophagus. There are several reasons for this scenario. For example, if the marble is larger than usual, it can be challenging to pass through a younger patient’s tiny throat passage. The shape of the marble also determines how swift or not it can glide. The flatter and dense the object is, the more problematic it might be passing through the throat.

Stuck marble symptoms include coughing, gagging, and wheezing. Your child may also present with abdominal pain, chest, and throat pain. Vomiting difficulty talking, swallowing, blood in the stool, and fever are common symptoms. Once you notice these signs, it is urgent that you get to the doctor as quickly as possible.

What Else Should You Do?

The moment you realize that your kid may not poop out the marble as expected is the very moment you need to be in the emergency room. It could be fatal, especially if your child is exhibiting the mentioned symptoms. Unfortunately, some of them can be life-threatening, and any time wastage can exacerbate the damage.

The doctor will have to act right away by locating the spot of the object. The most probable interventions include a CT scan or an X-ray. Other useful tools that may come in handy include a metal detector and even an endoscopy to locate and extract the marble.

Treatment Options for Marble Ingestion

A marble ingestion treatment is usually on a case by case basis. For example, the doctor may recommend home care if your child is not showing any serious symptoms. All you may have to do is patiently poop watch. But when your kid can barely breathe, then, of course, they require emergency treatment and care. This includes quick retrieval of the marble from the airwaves.

Surgical treatment could be another option if the marble causes damage to any of the delicate tissues in the throat or stomach lining.

Who Is Most at Risk of Marble Ingestion?

Research indicates that the group most susceptible to marble and any other foreign object ingestion are infants and toddlers. Why? Because they are perfect at learning things in the environment by touching, and finally stuffing them in the mouth. Again, hospital records show that most patients found to have accidentally swallowed foreign objects are those under the age of 3 years.

Meanwhile, do you often leave your kid unattended for prolonged periods? Then they are most at risk of such accidents. Again, if you leave these objects within their easy reach, it is highly possible to swallow them accidentally.