When Your Toddler Puts Things in His Mouth

applebabyOne of the challenges of being the parent of a toddler, especially a very young toddler, is that toddlers like to put everything and anything into their mouths. If they can pick it up and it will fit, into the mouth it goes. For some reason, it seems like Blake started this everything – into – the – mouth behavior well before becoming a toddler. Now that he is a toddler, he still does it and I have no idea when this particular phase will end.

Since I know that I am not the only one who is constantly checking their tot’s mouth for foreign objects any time they look suspicious, I thought that I would give you all some examples of common things that toddlers try to eat as well as what to do in each situation. It can be scary when you realize that your little one has something in his mouth that he shouldn’t. It can also make you feel like a bad parent, like you should have been able to keep it out of his reach. Once you have taken care of the situation and your toddler is safe, please do not beat yourself up about it. Even the most vigilant parent can’t keep every possible mouthable item out of their toddler’s reach.

Before I get into the examples of common things that toddlers put into their mouths, I would like to share a reassuring statistic. Apparently, 80 to 90 percent of the things that kids swallow pass through their bodies with no harmful effects. That’s good news, for those of us whose toddlers seem to approach the world as one big buffet.

Some of the things that toddlers often eat are bugs, dirt, grass, and poop – either from an animal or from their own diaper. These things (although yucky) are usually harmless, although if the poop has a parasite in it your child may experience diarrhea and vomiting. Two items that are cause for concern and immediate action are pennies and button batteries. Because both of these items can get stuck in the esophagus and contain corrosive agents that can burn the sensitive esophageal tissue, take your child to the emergency room right away.

Other items that need immediate attention are coins, safety pins, or anything else that causes your child to experience labored breathing, excessive drooling, gagging, or vomiting, Of course, you may not be able to wait until you can get help if your child is having trouble breathing, speaking, swallowing, or crying. If that happens, do the Heimlich maneuver. Please be sure to educate yourself about how to do it properly on a small child before you need to use it.