Pediatric Foreign Body (Esophageal)

What is a Pediatric Foreign Body (Esophageal)?

Esophageal foreign bodies occur when a child swallows an object such as a button or coin. It can also occur if the child hasn’t properly chewed their food before swallowing and it gets caught in the esophagus. Esophageal foreign bodies can require medical intervention to retrieve the object from the child’s esophagus. Children between the ages of 6 months and 3 years old are the most likely to swallow a foreign body.

What are the signs and symptoms of a Pediatric Foreign Body (Esophageal)?

Children who swallow a foreign object typically show the following symptoms:

  • Choking
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Pain in specific area
  • Vomiting 
  • Wheezing

If a child has swallowed a foreign object and is struggling to breathe or not breathing, get medical help immediately.

What are the causes of a Pediatric Foreign Body (Esophageal)?

Some of the commonly ingested foreign bodies include:

  • Buttons
  • Batteries
  • Coins
  • Magnets
  • Marbles
  • Toy parts

How are Pediatric Foreign Body (Esophageal) treated?

Patients undergo removal of an esophageal foreign body by a surgeon using an instrument (scope) to visualize and remove using a grasper. This is done while the patient is under general anesthesia. Most patients are discharged to their home immediately after the procedure. 

Pediatric Foreign Body (Esophageal) Doctors and Providers