Kenyan coins are made of copper plated steel and are magnetic. They are therefore not going to dissolve in stomach acid. Coins are made to last for millions of years under harsh conditions so naturally they would still be intact in a child’s stomach. This is all to say that should your child ingest a coin it, should be removed as soon as possible.

Why it is common

Toddlers are new to the world and their way of interacting with things is by touch then taste. To them, everything could potentially be food. You will see them pick stuff up and put it in their mouths to chew then probably swallow. To make a safe household you should get on their level and remove any small and sharp items they can fit in their mouths. Here are some Common items children swallow .Coins are easy to access and shiny so they attract children. They could have gone in your bag or reached for them on the coffee table.

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Symptoms to look out for

You could have been absent when the coin was ingested. If the coin did not choke your child they would be able to eat and drink comfortably but wreaking havoc in their insides. They can tear at their intestinal walls or cause irritation of their esophageal tissues.

You may notice a persistent cough, abnormal bowel sounds, stomach pain or vomiting. Dark blood in the stool is also a tell-tale sign. A stuck coin will cause difficulty in breathing, drooling and inability to drink or eat, vomiting or even loss of consciousness. If any of these happens,seek medical attention immediately.

Your next course of action

Choking will require for you to do the Heimlich maneuver (see more about about first aid for choking and Heimlich maneuver here) to dislodge it from the throat. You should take your child to the hospital if they display the above symptoms.

Don’t wait for the coin to pass from the stool even if the child seems fine. Administering laxatives or inducing vomiting is a no-no. Your doctor will observe the child and give them medication. An X-ray can be done to determine the position of the coin. You will be advised on whether surgery will be necessary or not.

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