An Atlanta boy was sent to hospital emergency after swallowing AirPods given to him as a Christmas gift.
AirPods are tiny wireless Bluetooth earbuds made by Apple, with embedded battery inside it.
The mother shared the warning story on Facebook. She said she didn’t know how it happened but no AirPods again for her 7-year-old son.
“I can’t make this up. My child, my child. Thanks for all of the prayers. We’re home. No more airpods for this kid. “Post from @KiaraStroud on Facebook
Foreign Body Ingestion (FBI) is a common problem in children, especially those between the ages of 6 months and 4 years of age.
Most foreign body ingested may pass through the gastrointestinal tract harmlessly without any complications. In some cases, urgent actions are needed otherwise it may lead to complications.
N.B: Caregivers are advised to seek medical care immediately in cases of Foreign Body Ingestion as it is the attending paediatrician who can determine the next course of action.
Red Flags in FBI
- Button batteries trapped in the oesophagus or at a fixed point in the gastrointestinal tract may require urgent extraction.
- Large objects (>6 cm long and/or >2.5 cm wide) may become entrapped at the pylorus, thereby preventing food from passing down to the stomach with other attendant complications.
- Superabsorbent polymers could also cause impaction.
- Magnet plus a Metal object or >1 Magnet ingestion.
- Lead-containing substances that fail to pass through the stomach may cause lead poisoning.
- Multicomponent objects could separate into component parts and travel through the gastrointestinal tract separately. Examples include toys with lights, motors, and batteries, thus requiring removal.
- High-risk children that have an already existing gastrointestinal tract abnormalities like congenital malformations (repaired or unrepaired) and other neuromuscular diseases.
AirPods have embedded batteries within the plastic casing. As long as the plastic casing remains intact, there may not be any serious complications.
However, if the batteries come in contact with body fluids, then it could become a major problem as the contents react with body parts leading to serious complications.
The story is a warning to all caregivers to pay attention to their children as they explore their world.