Choking is a serious hazard, especially for youngsters

Years ago, there was an ENT doctor in Aberdeen whose waiting room wall was adorned with all of the objects he had removed from patients’ throats over the years. The wall was bizarre and fascinating. Small objects, held in glass containers, included bits of crayon, rocks, buttons, marbles and seeds. There was even a rosary that had been accidentally swallowed by an adult woman.

Foreign bodies in the throat can be a life-threatening emergency. Especially for small children who tend to put all kinds of things in their mouths. Most of the time, they spit it out. Other times they swallow the thing. But if they inhale the object, it can be lodged in the trachea.

And food can often be the culprit. If the child doesn’t chew their food well because they don’t have a full set of teeth. Some of the things that can get lodged in the throat include grapes, hot dogs, rocks, nuts, toy pieces, buttons and coins.

Sometimes the result is immediate and serious. Gagging, coughing, wheezing, lips turning blue. Get help immediately. Other times, the object doesn’t completely block the airway. You’ll still need to seek medical help as soon as possible. Here are some symptoms that could be the result of a foreign object in the throat:

  • Choking
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing