Swallowing Money

Updated on November 21, 2008
D.M. asks from Kingsport, TN
32 answers

This morning my 3yr old ate a penny. She seems fine no stomach ache or anything of that nature. I need advice on what to do. Should I wait till it passes or take her to the doctor. Any advise on this will be helpful. Thanks

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M.J.

answers from Raleigh on

I know you are worried, as I would be also. Maybe this will make you feel better. My niece swallowed a quarter and told her mom at bed time that she wanted to go to her grandma's house...her mom kept asking why and finally my niece said...bc I did something I will be in trouble for. So she finally fessed up to her grandma on the phone that she swallowed a quarter. My sister in law rushed her to the hospital where they did x-rays and didn't find anything...so at this point we were wondering if it was even true. Finally, the doctor told her to just watch her stools and not to worry unless she pooped out two dimes and a nickel...! 2 whole days later...out came the quarter...and she is perfectly fine...5 years later!

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K.S.

answers from Hickory on

Wait it out, it will pass. I work at a psychiatric hospital (where adults swallow lots of things)and we don't get excited about money. Batteries, yes. Coins, no. Watch her poop and wait for it to pass.

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M.M.

answers from Chattanooga on

You've probably had the same advice from others,however when I am in doubt or have a question about things my children do that frighten me I call the pediatrian. My 2 1/2 year old son ate deodorant about a month ago. We called poison control and then the pediatrian. The pediatrian usually puts my worry to rest.
M. M

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J.S.

answers from Raleigh on

I did that as a kid. Now, as a grown up with kids, I would advise to call the pedi.

When I was little and did it, my doc told my mom to just check my stools to make sure it passed.

(Yep, it's sometimes gross to be a mom)

1 mom found this helpful
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M.J.

answers from Raleigh on

I know you are worried, as I would be also. Maybe this will make you feel better. My niece swallowed a quarter and told her mom at bed time that she wanted to go to her grandma's house...her mom kept asking why and finally my niece said...bc I did something I will be in trouble for. So she finally fessed up to her grandma on the phone that she swallowed a quarter. My sister in law rushed her to the hospital where they did x-rays and didn't find anything...so at this point we were wondering if it was even true. Finally, the doctor told her to just watch her stools and not to worry unless she pooped out two dimes and a nickel...! 2 whole days later...out came the quarter...and she is perfectly fine...5 years later!

1 mom found this helpful
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K.S.

answers from Hickory on

Wait it out, it will pass. I work at a psychiatric hospital (where adults swallow lots of things)and we don't get excited about money. Batteries, yes. Coins, no. Watch her poop and wait for it to pass.

1 mom found this helpful
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M.M.

answers from Chattanooga on

You've probably had the same advice from others,however when I am in doubt or have a question about things my children do that frighten me I call the pediatrian. My 2 1/2 year old son ate deodorant about a month ago. We called poison control and then the pediatrian. The pediatrian usually puts my worry to rest.
M. M

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M.T.

answers from Nashville on

What goes in must come out.... what doesn't.. that is what they make good surgeons for.

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C.D.

answers from Raleigh on

My son did this when he was little. I saw him put the penny in his mouth, however, I was too late, and he swallowed it. A call to the pediatrician's nurse is advised. They told me to let it pass, in a certain amount of time, and if it had not, or there were other symptoms to call them. It went in as a dirty penny, and came out bright, shiny and new looking. ha-ha.

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L.T.

answers from Los Angeles on

My daughter's pediatrician once told us that because of the metals used to make pennies (different than other coins) swallowing pennies can be dangerous for little ones. I would double check with your doc. Otherwise as long as your daughter isn't having trouble breathing/swallowing there isn't any cause for concern when she swallows something she shouldn't. Good luck. :)

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T.C.

answers from Charlotte on

I have a friend whose 2 yr. old dd swallowed a dime. She said it took a little over a week to pass but it did pass. If she starts having stomach aches I would call the dr though, just to make sure it didn't get lodged anywhere.
I send you my best!
T.

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S.B.

answers from Nashville on

Call her Dr for advice

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V.W.

answers from Wheeling on

Dear Daniele
I too when I was young swollow a penny.
It did pass.
but I suggest get her to the doctor for further exam.
I came out of it ok.
But these coins re made differnt now.
I would be safe and take her in for them to see if she will be ok.

have a good day today
Vicki W.

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K.K.

answers from Huntington on

take her to the dr Pennies are very bad if swollowed you need to just have her check im sure she will be fine but it is better safe then sorry

D.B.

answers from Memphis on

It's common for children to swallow money. It will pass soon & shouldn't cause any problems. Just be with her each time she poops & you'll probably see it. If you need reassurance, you can always call your pediatricians office & speak with a nurse. Most likely they will tell you the same thing. But peace of mind goes a long ways.

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T.R.

answers from Charlotte on

Dear D. M:

I have experienced the same thing with my nieces and it cost to take the child to the doctor, only to have the pediatrician tell you to let it pass and to keep checking your child's movements when she goes. If she should experiencing a severe abdominal pain take her to the emergency room quickly but nothing to worry about it will pass soon. Just give her plenty of fiber which will help the process.

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D.C.

answers from Memphis on

My sister swallowed a nickel when she was about 5 or so. My Mom took her to the doctor and he scheduled her for surgery, and she passed the nickel the day of the surgery. By no means is that scientific, but nature will take its course.

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S.D.

answers from Nashville on

My son swallowed the end of the telephone antenae. We took him to Vandy and my brother X-rayed him to make sure it was not getting stuck anywhere. We could see it on the X-ray. If the penny does not pass take your child to be X-rayed to make sure it is not causing an obstruction some where in her body.

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G.M.

answers from Raleigh on

I swallowed a nickel once as a child and the ped. just told my mom to let it pass. I might call the nurse just to make sure but I'm pretty sure that's all you can do is wait.

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B.L.

answers from Jacksonville on

I would call poison control first thing. They have a wealth of correct knowledge at their finger tips and will know just what to do. That's who doctors/ERs call when they don't know an answer.

Ultimately, though, it will likely pass. If it got lodged in her intestines or something, she would let you know that she was in pain. I remember swallowing a nickel, and it came out in a day or so. Any effect she has from ingesting the coin will likely be less damaging than surgery, which would probably be the only other option. You might watch her stools so that you know that it does come out. My son, at around 14 months, swallowed an open staple. My gut said it would be fine, and I fed him some cookies (something he would be sure to eat) to cushion it. Then I called a nurse hotline, and the nurse freaked out and said to get him to the hospital ASAP. So I took him in, and they fooled around for a few hours, then sent us to a children's hospital an hour away, where they anesthetized him and went down into his stomach/intestines with an endoscope, and found that it was long gone. "Don't bother looking for it in his diaper" they said, "as you'll never find it". Well, I did look, and it came out 25 hours after it went in, having damaged nothing (but the endoscope scraped up his trachea, and anesthesia is always a risk) and $2000 poorer for us (starving students at the time). I decided then that I would follow my gut.

There have been observational studies (information evaluated after the incidence) of people (probably children) who swallowed razor blades (I kid you not). The body formed a mucus around the razor blades, protecting the body. The body is amazing. I don't know why they say kids must be at least 3 to play with "small parts", as my three-year-old still puts things in his mouth, too.

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P.B.

answers from Raleigh on

Id give her pediatrician a call to let her know what is going on & get their opinion. Keep a close eye on your child's stools, maybe let her eat a few prunes... help the process.

If she is potty trained already, you might want to encourage her to use the training toilet so searching for that penny will be easier on you.

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G.S.

answers from Goldsboro on

I swallowed a dime when I was a baby and my parents took me to the doctor. But the only thing the doctor did was tell them to check my BM and make sure the dime came out. There is really nothing they can do unless it does not pass. (BTW, my parents saved the dime and put it in my baby book with the date swallowed and the date expelled on the book).

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K.L.

answers from Louisville on

I remember when I was younger, a kid in my school swallowed a nickel or dime. If I remember right it did pass and the funny thing about it was that his mom cleaned it all up and he brought it in for show & tell! But now that I am a mother of 3 I personally would call my child's doctor & ask them. They might have had to remove it surgically, it has been so long I can not remember exactly, mainly the part of how he brought it in to show everyone.

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A.B.

answers from Louisville on

This happened to my daughter when she was about that age. I called Poison Control and they told me she would be fine and than a possible upset stomach.

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S.J.

answers from Charlotte on

Hi D.,

My son did it a couple of years ago and my ped sent me straight to the ER for an x-ray to make sure it wasn't stuck. Then, we had to "poke through" the poo to make sure it came out within a certain amount of time.

Good luck!

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K.S.

answers from Raleigh on

It will come through, maybe some apple, to help her go?

E.M.

answers from Louisville on

call the doctor i would worry about heavy metal poisoning

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W.M.

answers from Louisville on

Hi D.,
We ran into a couple at the hospital that their child did the same thing, but they didn't know it. Scar tissue started surrounding it and they took it out without any problems. They can always xray her and see where it is and if it is passing. If not, they will know what is best to do. That is about as far as my experience is with swallowing money.
God bless you.
W. from Indiana

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A.T.

answers from Charlotte on

When I worked in the E.R. all the doctors would advise to check to make sure that it passes. An x-ray at this point will only show the penny in her belly. If it doesn't come out after a week you should take her in to be seen.

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A.S.

answers from Omaha on

Just check all poop until you find it. :) If you don't find it, then it will definitely require the Dr.

Good luck and happy searching!
Amanda

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S.P.

answers from Nashville on

Does your doctor have a nurse that you can call and speak with? I know whenever I'm not sure whether or not I need to actually come in for a visit I call first and she directs me. I wouldn't go to an ER, as this is not an emergency.

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K.E.

answers from Jacksonville on

I swallowed a nickel when I was about 5 and I can remember my mom calling the doctor and the doctor told her to wait until it passed, but to make sure that everything else was normal. My mom checked my stools regularly until she located the nickel. I am now much older and just fine. I am sure everything will be fine with your little one. Take care and I hope this helps. :)

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I.N.

answers from Raleigh on

I'd just wait until it passes on its own. One of my kids swallowed a quarter once. I just had him watch for it in the toilet. He was AMAZED when it passed.

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R.H.

answers from Clarksville on

Here is a statement from Dr Amarnath, gastroenterologist:

"Coins are among the most common objects children swallow. People mistakenly think that coins are benign. Although most pennies will pass quickly through your child's system, they can be dangerous when they become lodged. Pennies minted after 1982 are made almost entirely of zinc. Mixed with stomach acid, they can become as corrosive as car battery acid."

I suggest, if you haven't already, go to the ER or call your local physician. God Bless~

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A.J.

answers from Memphis on

Go ahead and take her to the doctor- just to be on the safe side. My brother swallowed a few things when he was litte, a dime, a rock, a marble.... He was always fine, but a doctor trip can never be a bad thing just to be sure.

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