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My 4-year-old just swallowed a dime. She seems fine, but what should I do?

Accidental ingestions are common as children often use their mouths to explore objects.

Each year, the American Association of Poison Control Centers (1-800-222-1222) receives tens of thousands of phone calls from parents worried about children swallowing non-food items. If you witnessed the ingestion, know that it was a dime, and the child is behaving completely normally, there is no need to panic. The dime will likely pass on its own through the digestive tract in 1-3 days.

To be sure, you can ask your pediatrician for an X-ray to locate the dime. A dime in the stomach will likely pass easily. A dime that remains in the esophagus will need to be removed as it can cause damage and poses a risk to the windpipe. If the child is drooling, uncomfortable, vomiting, or having any respiratory distress, you should seek medical attention immediately.

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