So Lola ate a 20 pence coin.
Of all the things I worry about with the kids, swallowing money did not come onto my radar. None of them really put things in their mouth any more. When I saw my 3 year old choking in front of me, in our bedroom, I still did not think… she’s eaten a coin. Until she asked us whilst making the gagging, retching, choking noises of a toddler with a metal object stuck in her throat to ‘get the money out’.
A surreal experience of first aid, throwing her over my knee and hitting on the back between her shoulder blades, which did not empty out what she had in her mouth, a call to 999, a few vomiting episodes, an ambulance ride and an X ray later we knew it was definitely a coin. 56 hours later, we had poked around enough poo to find that magical piece of metal that had been places no human eye would wish. If you have no desire to see what a coin that has travelled through an acid bath of the human digestive tract looks like, then look away about now.
During the whole ‘experience’ I learnt I am not bad in a crisis. Those first aid lessons I had 8 years ago came rushing back. Apart from my initial horror of watching her choking, the only time I felt the gurgle of sickness rise up in my throat was when the paramedic questioned whether it could be a coin shaped battery. These little things containing lithium which fit into clocks, watches, toys, electric scales etc, can burn holes in your oesophagus and corrode your insides. They can be fatal. She reminded me this in the ambulance and I wanted to VOM. I had taken some upstairs to change the batteries from the scales in my bathroom and I couldn’t be absolutely certain she hadn’t found and used these as money until I called home and had him check.
So here’s the thing. You might not think it but kids swallow things ALL THE TIME. When we were in A&E, we were there with another little boy who had swallowed a ball bearing from a game he was playing. My friends little girl swallowed her wedding ring. These things happen. But when you consider where most of us keep batteries, in a drawer in the kitchen? (like me), in devices that can easily be opened by children, it is literally an accident waiting to happen. So think about moving them to somewhere similar to where you keep your medical supplies, high up and out the way of little fingers.
So thank God, fate, the world, karma for good shit happening. All is well in the house of Chalkio and we have 3 healthy kids. Breathe, smile, grin. Now tell me, have you ever swallowed a foreign object you didn’t actually mean to?