What Happens If You Swallow a Penny? (Saftey Alert For Babies)

what happens if you swallow a penny

Like the rattling toys, babies are also charmed by the jingling and luster of coins. Even the adults love to collect and play with different coins. However, kids love to toss, flip and collect coins as their lost treasure. While swallowing a coin is pretty common among the little explorers. But, Is it safe to swallow a copper penny? Can swallowing a quarter kill you? Let’s find out:

What happens if you swallow a penny? Generally, swallowing a penny is not much harmful. After passing through your digestive system, it will come out within 2-3 days. However, it can be harmful if the penny gets clung to your airways or esophagus causing croup, asthma, vomiting, and difficulty in eating or swallowing.

A penny can damage your esophagus if it contains corrosive zinc. Swallowing a quarter or a large octagonal coin is dangerous because it can lead to various abnormalities and serious health issues if gets lodged in your GI tract. Sometimes if a coin does not come out naturally then, it has to be removed through endoscopy or a surgical method.

Let’s dig deep to know more!

What Happens If You Swallow a Coin

Luckily, ingesting a small coin is not much damaging. About 80-90 % of the swallowed coin will come out without obstruction after passing through the intestine. 

However, a swallowed coin can easily stuck in your throat, food pipe, or air passage causing a blockage, chest pain, shortening of breath, non-specific vomiting, feeding abnormalities, and injury to your GI system. 

🔥Trending:  What Happens If You Swallow A Screw? [Symptoms & Treatments] 

Call emergency help immediately if you feel difficulty in breathing and chest pain. Don’t rely on self-medication and tricks.

What to Do If Your Baby Swallow A Penny Accidentally

If your child swallowed a Penny how long will it take to pass?

Playing with coins is good but it can be hazardous when your child swallowed a coin or a penny.

A penny can readily block the air passage and esophagus. Usually, a swallowed coin is passed out through feces within 2-3 days. But it can also get lodged in, causing impaction (compression of organs). Then it has to be removed immediately through endoscopy.

In case your child swallows a coin or a foreign object, especially a button battery, seek medical assistance or go to ER promptly.

Swallowed Penny Symptoms

What should I do if my baby swallows a coin?

Sometimes, your child may not show severe symptoms right after swallowing an object such as a penny, quarter, marble, bead, etc. But a coin can get lodged in the GI tract without showing any symptoms. 

Some severe symptoms are listed below:

  • Asthma and croup
  • Internal Compression
  • Drooling 
  • Coughing
  • Vomiting
  • Choking
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Inability to swallow

Take your baby to emergency right away. Keep your child under observation because the next 24-48 hours are important.

What Happens If You Swallow a Quarter

Can swallowing a quarter hurt you? Coins are of different sizes for example dime (18mm), penny (19mm), nickel (21mm), and a quarter (24mm). Whereas a quarter is the largest coin with reeded edges.

Swallowing a quarter could be dangerous. Because of its large size, it can easily get stuck in the food pipe or trachea. While ingesting a quarter can cause compression of air passage resulting in coughing, gagging, trouble breathing, and swallowing food. 

🔥Trending:  What Happens If You Swallow A Dime? (Everything U Should Know)

Visit your doctor even if you don’t feel any symptoms. He will suggest an X-Ray to watch the location of the quarter. Usually, swallowed objects ultimately come out in the stool within 1-2 weeks.

What Happens If You Swallow A Copper Penny

It’s quite alarming, that the number of kids swallowing multiple things has increased up to 90%. This risk is even greater when someone swallows a copper penny.

In most cases, a penny comes out involuntarily without damaging your GI system because of its smooth round edges and small size. But if a penny is lodged in your stomach, it can be poisonous

US Pennies are mostly made of zinc with a thin coating of copper that can be dissolved by the stomach acid. If a penny stays in your stomach for a long time, the zinc will react extensively with gastric acid causing ulcers, vomiting, and internal bleeding.

Call for emergency or poison control center if your child swallows a penny. Be careful, always keep your coins and currency away from your child as they carry nasty germs.

Can Swallowing a Penny Hurt You

How long can a penny stay in your stomach?

A penny has smooth round edges and generally causes no damage if swallowed. Still, this metal coin can hurt you because it may contain zinc which is harmful to the stomach. Plus, it can stay in your stomach for weeks before it is expelled out of your body.

Don’t let your child put everything in their mouth. Especially button batteries and magnets are very hazardous, even a dead battery can burn or damage the esophagus. Seek an emergency at once if swallowed.

🔥Trending:  What Happens If You Swallow Shampoo? [All Surprising Facts+Safety Tips]

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Swallowing a Penny Kill You?

No, swallowing a coin such as a penny will not kill you. But it can hurt you and cause lots of trouble if the coin gets stuck. It can block the air passage or esophagus, and result in choking, chest pain, vomiting, trouble swallowing, and fever. Go to your doctor immediately if any one of these symptoms appears.

Is Swallowing a Coin an Emergency?

Yes, the swallowing of a coin could be an emergency if the swallowed coin gets lodged in the trachea or esophagus. In this situation, you will feel choking, difficulty swallowing, drooling, chest pain, and difficulty in breathing. Call an emergency right away because it could be dangerous. 

Will a Penny Stay in Your Stomach Forever?

Normally, a penny passes out of your GI system along with undigested food within 1-2 days. In some cases, it can stay in your stomach for 2 to 3 weeks before it is expelled out. During this time, a careful period of “wait and see” is suggested to detect the location and movement of a penny. Sometimes endoscopy is carried out to remove a swallowed coin.

Last Lines

Unlike quarters, swallowing a penny is not much harmful and mostly it comes out in poop within a few days. But some pennies may contain rusted zinc that can damage your trachea or esophagus when it stays in your systems for many days.

Stay calm if your baby swallowed a penny and consult your doctor. Don’t try any trick in case your child shows severe symptoms. Call emergency help if you notice choking and difficulty in breathing. To avoid a troublesome situation, make the surrounding of your kids clear and well protected from all tiny crap.

James Randolph

Hey, James is here with you. This blog is a powerful online resource to help you get instant answers to your superstitious beliefs, facts, and the reality of myths. Knowledge is your inner guidance system, and this blog empowers you to update, refine, reorganize and enhance your communication system. If you know well you can surely discuss facts with evidence. So, stay with us and be a master of what happens around you!

Recent Posts