Dr. Saad Saad Talks Choking Hazards in Children

During Dr. Saad Saad’s 40 year career as a pediatric surgeon, he has had to remove a lot of foreign objects that were swallowed by children. These children have ranged in age from infants to young teens, but Dr. Saad Saad states that it is much more common in younger children whose curiosity gets the better of them. Usually, the objects that children swallow will pass through the digestive tract without any major problems, but sometimes they can get stuck in the food or windpipe and interfere with swallowing or breathing. It’s best to avoid allowing young children to eat food like hot dogs and peanuts until they can properly chew.


According to Dr. Saad Saad, some of the more common objects that he has seen stuck in the throat of patients have been hot dogs, peanuts, and coins. The larger objects tend to get stuck in the esophagus while the smaller ones can become lodged in the child’s windpipe. It’s important not to panic if your child is ever in this situation. For older children over the age of 6, it’s generally best to attempt the Heimlich maneuver. In the case of children who are under 6, the Heimlich maneuver can be dangerous to perform and is more likely to lead to complications like a broken rib cage. When trying to get an object dislodged from the throat of a smaller child, it’s best to hold them by their legs upside down and proceed to firmly tap on their back. Usually, these methods work to dislodge the object, but in cases where the attempts are not successful, it’s important to get that emergency medical attention as fast as possible by either taking them to the emergency room or calling an ambulance.


Dr. Saad Saad mentions that many parents will try to scoop the object out of their child’s throat after seeing them swallowing it, but he highly advises them not to try this. If done improperly, it can cause the object to be pushed further into their throat making it harder to dislodge with the proper methods. At the emergency room, an X-ray will be performed to see exactly where the object is stuck. Unfortunately, this type of imaging only works for about half of the foreign objects swallowed by children. In these cases, Dr. Saad Saad states that doctors will use an endoscope to better view the situation before proceeding to remove the object.

Learn more : https://www.doximity.com/pub/saad-saad-md