URGENT: My Baby Swallowed a Plum Seed!

Updated on May 08, 2012
D.Z. asks from Beverly Hills, CA
13 answers

Hi, my baby just swallowed a plum seed - should I take him to the doctor??

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answers from Richmond on

Oh my goodness! He's going to grow a plum tree in his belly!

I'm teasing ;) It will pass. If, in the next day or two he starts having really bad belly pains, take him to the doc immediately, but other than that, it will pass!!

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answers from Los Angeles on

We fed our 18 month old son apricots off of our tree. He never saw us pull the seed out, so one day, my husband was picking up the apricots and turned around to see our son choking. Our son had picked up an apricot an bit into it and the seed got stuck. My husband did the Heimlich maneuver, but our son swallowed it. My husband freaked. I didn't it. I told him to wait and see. (I have a healthcare background - and both of my parents are doctors.) I told him that the seed with either pass or it will cause bowel obstruction and require surgery.

Well, our son had normal bowel movements daily and after 8 days, a friend saw him poop and said that it looked like he was straining a bit. (My husband went through each of his diapers and this one, I heard my husband cry....with relief.) It took 8 days, but it passed and my son's butt was intact.

Do what you are comfortable with, but use logic and don't be stupid. Breathe!

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answers from Austin on

If you are positive.. Have you looked all around to make sure it did not fall or roll somewhere. I would call the doctors emergency number and ask them..

Anytime you are super worried call the doc before you post online.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Appleton on

This too shall pass.
You should never go to he ER or even run into the doctor's office unless it's a real emergency, without an appointment. You can call the ER and talk to a nurse. As long as he is breathing okay and doesn't seem to be in any distress he should be fine.

Real emergencies that warrent a trip to the ER:
severe burn
bleeding that won't stop -- and may need stitches
a head injury when the patient is throwing up, seems disoriented, eyes don't focus
broken bones
fainting -- with an unknown cause (could be very low blood pressure)
broken bones
chest pain or other symtoms of heart condition -- nausa being one of them
heat stroke
drowning or possibility of swallowed water that may have gotten into lungs
finding the patient unresponsive or unconscious

I'm not trying to demean you or be simply mean. But the ER is for real emergencies. Sometimes the ER gets slammed with a multiple car accident --- would you want your doctor to have to leave you during an assessment or treatment to check on a child who swallowed a fruit pit? Say you had been in a car acident and your 1 child is bleeding badly and the other unconscious and before the doctor can completely assess your children a parent comes in for a simple procedure that could have waited till the next morning and be seen by the regular doctor. How would feel if the doctor left to go calm the new patient or parent?

I advise you to contact the Red Cross and take some first aide courses. You will feel so much more calm when your kids get hurt or scare the daylights out of you.

I'm not saying you shouldn't be concerned -- or even scared whitless sometimes. When my first was about 7 weeks old we ran her to the ER because she was crying and screaming and we got scared (ugg new parents) well we got there and the nurse took her and said follow me and she went to take her temp annally and the baby passed gas and the nurse laughed and said -- ahh that's all it was -- she's fine. Of course two red faced parents took the baby home and went to bed. That baby just turned 37-- over the years as parents we calm down and learn. So will you.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

As long as the pit went into the stomach it's fine. It'll pass through within the next 24 to 48 hours most likely. A trip to the er or the doctor isn't needed.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

It's really up to you, what you want to do. We all have different ideas of what's "right" in this scenario. I would wait it out, but my DH would be freaking out...

My advice is to go with your gut & when in doubt, call a nurse line instead of posting to a message board. I'm not trying to be mean, but that's just how I see it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

If he is not choking and you are sure it has made it down, it will pass through. Can your baby breathe/eat/drink right now? I am assuming yes or you prob wouldn't be on mamapedia... Might be a little uncomfortable when it passes, but it will. Look for it though, so that you can take him in if it does NOT pass.


If he is not choking and you are sure it has made it down, it will pass through. Can your baby breathe/eat/drink right now? I am assuming yes or you prob wouldn't be on mamapedia... Might be a little uncomfortable when it passes, but it will. Look for it though, so that you can take him in if it does NOT pass.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I would take him to the ER if the plum seed is bigger than a dime. I cannot picture a plum seed at the moment, at first I was thinking of a peach pit. I would be to afraid it would get trapped in his small intestine and cause intestinal issues. If it were my baby that is what I would do but I am a freak-a-zoid. PLease update us! Hope all is well with you baby.

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answers from Minneapolis on

Whoa! Obviously these people don't know what a plum pit looks like nor do we know the age of your child. Yes...take your child to the ER! These people aren't doctors and the advice below is not good. He could suffocate if it gets stuck and it could seriously damage his intestines or stomach if it should reach there. A child's trachea isn't that large, so yes, there is a suffocation risk. Children can and do die on a whole grape. It is very common cause of choking in children next to uncut hot dog. A plum seed can be way larger than those! You do the math.

In the future, with matters like this, skip wasting your time with mamapedia and just take your child to the ER. At the very least, call the triage desk at your doctor's office and take it from there. Sheesh!



answers from Washington DC on

I agree with the person who posted that you should at least check this out, especially if your baby is an infant -- you do not say his age. A plum "seed" is actually a pit like a peach pit and can be quite large, large enough to choke a baby or toddler. If the pit is already gone down, call your doctor's office and be sure they understand this is not a "seed" but something the size of a peach pit and very hard. They may say it's OK but if your baby is an infant they may want to do more. Don't wait. It may be nothing but better to check.

I think other folks below saw the word "seed" and didn't realize how large a plum pit can be.


answers from Redding on

Plum seeds arent very large, I'm pretty certain it will pass through without much of a problem. Oatmeal for breakfast.



answers from Pittsburgh on

I would call his pediatrician and get his/her recommendation asap.
Interesting first question!
Welcome to Mamapedia!



answers from Los Angeles on

Hi DZ,

You've gotten some reasonable advice by now (call the doc, not this group, but the pit will probably pass on its own), but I'd like to clear up a couple of misconceptions I saw in the earlier postings.

JL mentioned a suffocation risk because of the size of a child's trachea. She's correct, but remember that there are two tubes heading downward: the trachea and the esophagus. Both of these organs branch from the pharynx, which is the very top of the throat. The esophagus leads to the stomach, whereas the trachea goes to the lungs. There's a cartilaginous flap (the epiglottis) which changes position to block off the trachea at it's upper-most point (the larynx, or "voice box") during swallowing, to keep food from entering it. If a pit or other large object has already passed by the larynx and has entered the esophagus, it cannot cause choking and suffocation, although it can cause some pain or discomfort if it is very large as the muscles of the esophagus may need to "over stretch" to accomodate it. I suppose if the object were really large and there was some other underlying esophageal pathology, there might be a risk of tearing or rupturing, but this would be extremely unlikely.

ReverendRuby is mostly correct in her assessment of when to go to an ER for true emergencies, but there are lots of other potentially emergent illnesses beyond what she describes (e.g., wheezing/shortness of breath, intense abdominal or other pain, concern about severe, fast-moving infection, anaphylaxis, etc.) But, there's no need to worry that the ER docs are going to come running to deal with a splinter when they are in the midst of true emergencies. The ER staff triages all patients and admits them on the basis of the seriousness of their case, not by the time which they walked in the door.

Also, know what your medical insurance says about ER coverage before you go-- you might want to consider and urgent care facility, instead. You might be surprised to know that some insurance plans cover the ER visit but NOT the doctor in the ER in the doctor is an outside contractor. In California, for instance, there's actually a law saying the doctors cannot be employed by hospitals. All the of the ER docs in CA work as independent contractors or are members of an affiliated group which contracts with the hospital. Some insurance companies (like Blue Cross) play games and insist on reimbursements so far below costs for ER contractors that they cannot afford to contract with the insurance company as preferred providers, so you, the patient, can get hit with their full bill, which can be enormous. As an example, I went to our local ER near midnight on a Saturday night (no other options really available!) because a sewing machine needle had shattered and was embedded somewhere in my finger. I suppose I could have waited for extended care to open at 10AM the next day, but it was bleeding rather profusely. The ER bill was the promised $50; the doctor's bill was another $600 (cost for reading the x-ray, which I actually read myself, local anesthesia, and minor surgery to remove the shrapnel and seal the wound, and--get this!--an after hours fee!). BTW, we found that the doctor contracted with BC through his regular office and got them to rebill at the preferred rate.

Next question: My 16 Month Old Son Swallowed a Plum Pit.