What causes pediatric foreign body ingestion?

Updated: Oct 04, 2018
  • Author: Gregory P Conners, MD, MPH, MBA, FAAP, FACEP; Chief Editor: Dale W Steele, MD, MS  more...
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  • Most cases occur as children discover and place small objects in their mouths.

  • Foreign body ingestion, especially if a repeated problem, may suggest a chaotic home environment and neglect.

  • Children with known GI tract abnormalities or previous complications of foreign body ingestion are more likely to have complications.

  • Older children may be seeking attention or be manifesting psychological abnormalities.

  • Ingestion of unusual foreign bodies may suggest an underlying abnormality. For example, an association exists between toothbrush ingestions and bulimia in teenaged girls. [18]

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