Parents know that kids put all sorts of weird and wonderful things in their mouths but the recent case of a seven-year-old boy who swallowed an AirPod takes the cake.
When surgeons x-rayed QJ Stoud’s torso they weren’t quite sure what to do next. QJ had swallowed one of a pair of wireless Apple Bluetooth airpods while holding the longer side of the earpiece in his mouth. His mom, Kiara, said the set were a Christmas gift her son had been begging Father Christmas to buy for ages. The piece of technology had lodged itself just below his ribs.
Got an emergency call at work, my baby’s Nana was so calm…Then ended up telling me they were rushing QJ to Egleston…
“We actually saw it because it has metal in it, so we could see it in the X-ray and I’m like, ‘My boy really swallowed his AirPod!’” Kiara said. “He was scared and felt so bad for what had happened. We let him know that everything was going to be OK. We stayed calm, and it helped him to relax so that the doctors could do their jobs.”
Due to the position of the Airpod, after much discussion doctors decided it was safer to leave it where it was and to wait for it to pass through QJ’s body naturally.
The case follows a number of extremely dangerous items kids have funnelled down their throats. A 16-month-old boy consumed a SpongeBob SquarePants keychain that got caught in his oesophagus; two-year-old Sheila Martinez gulfed down a nine centimetre screwdriver, which required an hour-long surgery to remove; six-year-old Eli Lambert swallowed an LED light that could still be seen flashing through his abdomen after going down his throat.; seven-month-old Mya Whittington was hospitalised after she swallowed a feather; while two-year-old Ava Kendall devoured nine magnetic balls the size of BB pellets, which nearly killed her.
“It’s no mystery why kids are forever getting themselves into these fixes. They’re learning about their environment by sticking things in their mouth,” said Dr Jacob Brodsky, an ear, nose, and throat specialist. “And those who do it once often give it a try again. We have some frequent flyers.”
Brodsky warns about the dangers of one commonly swallowed item: the small disc batteries that power devices such as watches and hearing aids. The acid in the batteries can burn through a child’s oesophagus in under two hours so always keep them far out of your toddler/child’s reach.