It is not uncommon for kids to swallow a foreign object but rarer for the object to become stuck in the trachea or esophagus. In Dr. Saad Saad’s career as a U. S. Board Certified Pediatric Surgeon spanning over 40 years, he has treated over 1000 children who were so unfortunate as to swallow a foreign object that ended up blocking either the trachea or esophagus. Dr. Saad Saad is a Palestinian refugee who spent his early life living in Kuwait, where he developed the desire to become a pediatric surgeon. Dr. Saad Saad obtained his medical degree at Cairo University in Egypt and has the honor to be the personal pediatric surgeon to the children of the Saudi Royal Family for several years in the 1980s.
In most instances where a child swallows a foreign object the object safely passes through the child’s system and it is ultimately defecated out. However, there are instances where the foreign objects get stuck either in the trachea or esophagus causing trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, and wheezing. If this happens to be the case, actions must be taken to induce the foreign object to be emitted from the child’s body. The action to be taken varies depending upon the age of the child. If the child is under 6 years of age, holding a child upside down by his or her two legs and tapping him or her on the back should suffice to produce the desired result. If the child is older than 6, performing the Heimlich maneuver should suffice to produce the desired result. In instances where neither of these maneuvers suffices to omit the foreign object from the child’s body, the child must be taken to the emergency room.
At the emergency room, an endoscope is used to look inside the child to see if there is indeed a foreign object obstructing the trachea or esophagus. Dr. Saad Saad advises that under no circumstances, should an attempt be made to scoop the foreign object out of the child’s body because this can often cause the foreign object to be blocked further and pushed further down the child’s body.
Batteries and peanuts are two of the most dangerous foreign objects a child can swallow. Batteries are so dangerous because they can leak the acid inside of them. Peanuts are so dangerous because they can expand when coming into contact with the fluids in the esophagus causing further blockage. Moreover, removing the peanut with a tweezer can lead to the peanut being fragmented and scattered throughout the lung. Dr. Saad Saad makes the suggestion that parent do not let children under 2 have hot dogs and children under 7 to eat peanuts. Learn more : https://about.me/ssaad/getstarted