“From a standpoint of things that kids could swallow, there's really a handful of things that we really get concerned about,” says Dr. Mark Flanzenbaum, M.D., FAAP of KidMed. “The biggest one are the little button batteries that you see in a lot of electronics now.”
Even when your electronic device seems to have run out of a charge, there's actually still a charge in those batteries and they can cause problems in any surface that they touch on the insides of your child, says Dr. Flanzenbaum. “Swallowing it can cause problems in their mouth, or in their esophagus, or in their intestines. Same in the nose, same in the ears.”
“If you think there's a chance that your child may have swallowed one of those button batteries, they should get evaluated as soon as possible,” says Dr. Flanzenbaum. “Now, the reality is, if it is in the intestines, most of them will pass through and nothing needs to be done. But, if it is stuck somewhere, those do need to be removed before they cause damage to the tissue in the inside.”
Dr. Flanzenbaum warns the other thing that is a concern are some of these very powerful magnets.
“A lot of these are these natural magnets that kids have that you put them close together and they just sort of snap together. Problem with those is if they're anywhere near your intestine and you have two of them and they're in two different sections, they can actually connect together on opposite sides of the two pieces of intestine and cause that area to die off in-between,” explains Dr. Flanzenbaum.
A single magnet is not so much of an issue, he says. “Most of those will pass through, but if there's a chance that there were two or more, those need to be evaluated right away.”