What to do if you child swallows a penny

Nina Shapiro, MD Pediatric Otolaryngologist at UCLA, shares advice for parents on what to do if their kid swallows a penny or similar object and how to tell if it may be serious
What To Do If Your Child Swallows A Penny
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What to do if you child swallows a penny

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The most common, non-food items that kids swallow are coins; and the most common coin they swallow is the penny. The reason it's the penny that is most commonly swallowed is because it's the most common coin in currency. It's also the most common coin you see on the floor on in the street. Kids pick up these coins, they look pretty, and they swallow them. Normally coins can pass through the swallowing passages, but in young kids, under one or two years old; they can get stuck in the esophagus. If your child swallowed a coin, they may not have any symptoms. They may be able to swallow and eat around this coin, but eventually, they may develop a swallowing problem, a little bit of a cough that may bring them to the doctor. If they get an x-ray, you will see a bright coin at the top of their throat.

Nina Shapiro, MD Pediatric Otolaryngologist at UCLA, shares advice for parents on what to do if their kid swallows a penny or similar object and how to tell if it may be serious

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Nina Shapiro, MD

Pediatric Otolaryngologist

Dr. Nina Shapiro is the Director of Pediatric Otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat) and an Associate Professor of Surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.  As the first fellowship-trained pediatric otolaryngologist at the medical center since it was founded in 1955, her presence has put UCLA 'on the map' in her field.  

A graduate of Harvard Medical School and Cornell University College of Arts and Sciences, she also completed her residency training at Harvard.  She then went on to complete additional subspecialty training in pediatric otolaryngology at the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, and The Children's Hospital of San Diego.

A native of New York, Shapiro has been honored with several prestigious awards, including the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology Award for Clinical Research, the UCLA Division of Head and Neck Surgery Faculty Teaching Award, and the American Academy of Pediatrics Young Investigators Award.  She has also been named "Super Doctor" by Los Angeles Magazine, and has been listed in "Who's Who in America".  

She has authored over 70 peer-reviewed journal articles, has edited a pediatric otolaryngology textbook, and is the author of the parenting book Take a Deep Breath: Clear the Air for the Health of Your Child, releaseded in January 2012. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children, and enjoys spending time with them more than anything else in the world.

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