What happens when a child swallows a Lego?

What happens when a child swallows a Lego?

Don’t worry, it's not dangerous and should pass through their system!

Everything is awesome when it comes to LEGO. It’s probably the best toy a kid can have, and helps with your child’s development. Plus for parents, it’s like buying many toys at once – a single box of LEGO bricks can be built into a near-infinite amount of creations limited only by your child’s imagination. But like with any toy, even LEGO comes with toy safety guidelines all kids should follow and parents should know. 

While the larger LEGO Duplo for toddlers contains bricks that are too big to swallow, the regular LEGO sets we know and love may have smaller bricks and elements that can potentially find their way into your child’s mouth, then stomach. 

So, what happens when your child swallows a LEGO brick?
toy safety guidelines

It’s easy to swallow the tiny LEGO Minifigures heads, so best to follow some toy safety guidelines to prevent accidents. | Source: Unsplash

Six pediatricians decided to find out what happens to your body when you swallow a LEGO Minifigure head. For the study, published in the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, they all popped one head apiece, and kept track of how long it took for the LEGO head to find its way out via their poop.

A little gross, but it’s all in the name of science!

The answer they found: Between 1-3 days, or an average of 1.71 days.

Most importantly was that the study found no complications or problems from swallowing the LEGO heads, and each participant’s digestive tract was unaffected.

Fret not, parents. The study also discussed that “childhood bowel transit time” is more immature than an adult, which means objects will most likely pass faster through your child’s body.

There were other humorous findings from the study. Between the six paediatricians (three men, three women), the women found it easier to search through their stool for the LEGO Minifigure head. One male paediatrician could not find his LEGO head after weeks of searching. 

Toy safety guidelines: Choosing age-appropriate toys for your kids
toy safety guidelines

It’s important to choose age appropriate toys for your children. Follow these toy safety guidelines according to age. | Source: Stock photo

Like LEGO, toys are more than just playthings. Toys are developmental tools, so choosing the right toy for your child’s age means you will be giving him or her hours of education, exploration and fun. Here’s an idea of what toys are appropriate for what ages:

0-6 months. Babies love toys that shake and create sound like rattles. Babies are captivated with movement, and will love to play with toys that they can grasp, pull, kick, squeeze and swipe at.

6-8 months. Older babies will play with their old toys in a whole new way. They are learning cause and effect, and will do things in repetition to learn them, like moving their toys about. 

8-18 months. Children at this age start understand actions have results. Think toys that push and pull, large building blocks, toys that come apart, rings on poles and shape sorters.

18-24 months. Toddlers have a keen interest in learning and pretending to be others. Try dress up dolls and clothes, kitchen and tea sets, as well as toy vehicles.

2-4 years old. Toys that nurture creativity are great at this age, like play-doh, crayons, paints, puzzles, building blocks (LEGO) and other construction toys. Music instruments like drums or tools like a toy hammer-and-peg can also be exciting for children.


Sources: Journal of Paediatrics and Child HealthNew York Post

Republished with permission from The Asian Parent Singapore

Read also: Nakalunok ng bubble gum: Delikado ba ito?

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