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My Kid Swallowed a Rock! What to Do?

    Putting objects in the mouth is common among children. The behavior is prevalent during their early years of development. It happens among toddlers, pre-school, and early elementary-aged children. During these stages of development, kids are naturally curious. It is the reason why they will stuff anything they see in their mouths. Among the objects kids are likely to explore using their mouths are small rocks. They may, in the process, accidentally swallow it.

    If your child has swallowed a rock, you are not alone because it also happens to other children. However, what worries most parents is what to do in such a situation. If your child has a rock in their digestive system, it is not time to worry but instead, find a remedy to revert the situation. Read on for more information on rock swallowing among kids.

    What made your kid want to swallow a rock in the first place?

    During the early years, children become curious and like exploring things around them. It is a stage where they use all their senses to explore and understand their environment. One of the senses they mostly use is taste. It probably explains why they would put any object they see and touch in their mouth. So, in most cases, object swallowing among children is accidental and not intentional. As they try to explore the rock using their mouths, they accidentally swallow it.

    A kid may swallow a rock when they are suffering from a condition called pica. It is an eating disorder that involves eating non-food items. It is a behavior common among the children, and among the things they eat is soil. So, high chances of swallowing a rock during soil eating are high.

    You should always worry, but here’s when to kick it up:

    If your child swallows a small rock, it may pass through the digestive system and then expel it the following day without trouble. As a parent, you might not even notice that such a thing took place. However, in some cases, when a child swallows a stone, it may lead to some complications.

    There are certain behaviors that a kid will display to indicate that something is wrong. So, as a parent or caregiver, you need to pay attention to your children when playing. However, if a child swallows a stone and it gets stuck in the airway, that kid will develop some complications. The symptoms below could be an indication that your child has swallowed a rock: 

    • Coughing
    • Loss of consciousness
    • Wheezing 
    • Breathing difficulties 

    Other signs may include continuous spitting, vomiting, abnormal drooling, and stomach pains.

    What are some of the dangers of swallowing a rock?

    Swallowing of rocks has different effects on children. In some instances, when a kid swallows a rock, the effects are almost instant. However, in others, it will take time to show. Below are the effects of rock swallowing among children; you should know:

    • When a child swallows a rock and reaches the stomach, it may cause infections. A kid may experience conditions such as fever, pain in the abdomen, and vomiting. 
    • Another effect is anal or rectal bleeding. It happens when a child swallows a sharp rock, which causes harm to the stomach and intestines. So, when you notice blood in your child’s poop or stool, it could be a sign of rock in the stomach. 

    How you can prevent your child from swallowing more rocks:

    While it is challenging to monitor kids throughout, parents need to know what their children are up to. If you notice that your child is fond of putting objects in the mouth, it is your responsibility to offer constant supervision.

    If you have tiny pebbles in your compound or backyard, it makes supervision even more necessary. 

    Also, since children don’t put only stones in their mouths, ensure that you keep away other small objects such as beads, coins, and buttons. Remember that children’s complications when they swallow small rocks are the same that they will encounter with such objects.

    How will doctors diagnose and treat the rock swallowing incident?

    Some stones that children swallow may have sharp ends. So, if they happen to reach the stomach, they may cause damage not just to the stomach, but to the intestines too. One best way of preventing rock swallowing among children is to keep a close eye on the children. 

    Also, getting the opinion of a health provider may be a good idea. The doctor is better positioned to diagnose and examine the kid to come up with an appropriate or better treatment plan. 

    Some of the procedures a doctor will carry out include perming X-rays and bronchoscopy. The X-ray helps the doctor locate the stone or object, while bronchoscopy is used to examine the airways. Bronchoscopy is necessary if the child is experiencing difficulty in breathing.

    Was it a baby that swallowed the rock?

    If so, this can cause nightmares and make sleeping hard. We made a guide about how to help your baby sleep after swallowing a rock – click that to learn more information. This can be a very scary thing for your baby, so definitely help your baby sleep before trauma sets in.

    Will your baby start dreaming about rocks?

    It’s possible. Lucky for you, there are ways to tell if your baby is dreaming about rocks. This experience can have a profound impact on your baby and his sleep. Your baby’s sleep will tell you so much about how this experience is impacting him/her. This can be very traumatizing, but this will help you sort through sleep difficulties that may arise as a result.


    As long as you have kids, an accident like rock swallowing is bound to happen. So, as a parent, you should be prepared for any eventualities. With the above information, you should be in a position to respond appropriately in case your child swallows a rock.

    1 thought on “My Kid Swallowed a Rock! What to Do?”

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