Foreign object - inhaled or swallowed
For Inhaled Object
Any child who may have inhaled an object should be seen by a doctor. Children with obvious breathing distress may require emergency measures for total airway blockage.
If choking or coughing subsides, and the child does not have any other symptoms, he or she may be monitored for signs and symptoms of respiratory infection or irritation. X-rays may be needed.
Bronchoscopy may be necessary for definitive diagnosis as well as removal of the object. Antibiotics may be used and respiratory therapy techniques if infection develops.
For Swallowed Object
Any child who is believed to have swallowed a foreign object should be observed for pain, fever, vomiting, or local tenderness. Stools (bowel movements) should be examined to detect the passage of the foreign object.
Even sharp objects (such as pins and screws) usually pass through the GI tract without complications. X-rays are occasionally needed, especially if the child has pain or the object does not pass within 4 to 5 days.
DO NOT "force feed" infants that are crying or breathing rapidly.