When your children are babies you painstakingly go over your entire house to make sure it is baby proof so that your child will not choke on anything. (Okay, baby proof...enough) My children found every item I missed:
With the exception of the army men--all were saved from being swallowed. And actually, make that an army man. (Think Toy Story--a two year old can easily swallow one of those suckers, did you know that?!)
Which brings me to the exception of children who are predispotioned to chew. These are the children that go into high school with mangled pencils and pen caps. The ones that sit in their third grade class chewing on the end of a wad of hair. They may chew their fingers, their shirt collars or random plastic items. You know what I mean...you either know/knew a person like this or are one.
Xander, my 7 year old, is a chewer. He has sensory integration disorder and Autism. This is where a quirky habit can become dangerous. Today he swallowed one of these:
This particular picture is from Oriental Trading. I don't know if the bouncy ball came from there or one of those .25 machines they have at grocery stores. I mention that only so the proper credit is given to the picture.
Now, a 7 year should know better, but when you have a child with special needs it is important to keep an eye on what they are chewing. It could be poisonous or dangerous. We are lucky that this ball did not become lodged in his throat cutting off his airway. When I realized he swallowed it and was talking and not struggling to breathe I knew the drill...and did not worry. Lessons I learned from the army man: they cannot detect plastic on an x-ray and they would tell us to bring him in only if his stmach became hard or he started having severe cramps. Otherwise, we would have to wait for it to pass. The doctor told me the army man could take up to two weeks because of its shape. The ball on the other hand could be freed in a matter of days.
I was reminded however to give Xan the "no batteries, no magnets" speech. These two things can kill a child. Make sure you have this talk with your children.
I am off to go find the thing Xan *is* allowed to chew on.