Help My Child Swallowed a Coin

Yes, this weekend, my 3-year-old who we thought for sure knew better swallowed a coin.  Here’s what happened:

He was playing at grandpa’s house and they had all sorts of coins out pretending they were cookies.  They pretended to bake them and eat them (yes, you see where this is going).  In a flash, Ethan had put either a nickel or quarter in his mouth and swallowed.  He didn’t choke or anything.  My dad couldn’t believe he had done it.  It happened so fast which leads me to think it was a nickel, cause how do you down a quarter???

It’s been two days and we haven’t seen the coin on the flip side (ha ha).  Ethan seems totally normal.  Any advice out there from moms who have had this experience?  How long did it take for the coin to come out?  The doctor says it could be 1-2 weeks.  I’d love to have your advice! 

Hot Tip for Moms:  No matter how hungry you are, don’t eat money. 


60 Responses

  1. My 3 years boy also swallowed a coin (0,20 Euro) at April 26 this year (20 days ago). It is still inside him, but three different doctors told us not to worry and not to expose him in another x-ray (we have three until now).
    Don’t worry????!!!!!

  2. Today after 24 days the coin is out!!!!!

  3. UGH! My 2.5yo son also ate a nickel on thursday night. It hasnt’ passed yet. I took him to the ER an hour after it happened it was in his stomach. Dr said it should pass the next day. Well it hasn’t. We visited his dr today and they took another xray to find out where it is in his system. It is still in his stomach. They told me to wait it out till Friday that it could take up to 7-8 days to pass. But if he starts spiking a fever or vomiting to bring him in right away. Im hoping it will pass through before Friday. I don’t want to know what the next step is if it hasn’t. After he swallowed it, i asked him where is the money? He put his hands in his mouth crying OH NO MONEY GONE. Story of my life.

  4. Let me know what happened after your msg???

  5. Hey there, my 3 year old swallowed a 1 dhiram coin (as big as a 2p coin) 2 weeks ago. Finally went to a pediatric surgeon after various visits to my pediatrician in the last 2 weeks. 4 xrays showing the coin moving but still stuck in the stomach.I have been advised to just wait as it will eventually pass out. Keep a lookout for symptoms such as vomiting, abdominal pains and fever. Its really stressful:(

  6. Thanks for your comment. I’m so sorry about your 3 year old and hope the coin passes soon so you can all relax a bit!

  7. My daughter swallowed a penny 6 days back. We got an x-ray at the ER which showed it was in her stomach. Dr. said it will pass in 2 days. But no signs of it yet. She is eating and acting normal. Today my Paedatriacian told to give a mild laxative. Still waiting. How long did it take for ur kids to come out?

  8. We waited for 3 weeks and then had an x-ray. It didn’t show up in the x-ray so we must have missed it, although we painfully looked for it everyday – ha ha. Hope your penny has been found already!

  9. We took an X-ray yesterday and the Dr. said that the coin has already passed out of her system and we must have missed it. Finally relieved that it is out. 🙂

  10. Hi
    I am worried my son 17 months old baby swallowed € 10 cent coin
    What it will happen?

    Thanks and regards


  11. Fekadu,
    Sorry to hear about your son swallowing a coin. Be watching for it in his stool and call your doctor and get their advice.

  12. This from:

    “… two items you should be concerned about [a child swallowing] are button batteries and pennies. Button batteries are small enough to pass easily down the throat, but then they can get caught in the esophagus or stuck somewhere else in the digestive tract and can burn a hole in the lining within hours. If your child swallows a battery, go to the emergency room immediately. Pennies made after 1982 contain highly corrosive zinc, and if one gets lodged in the esophagus, the lining may become irritated or damaged. ‘If your child has swallowed a penny-or any coin-take her to your pediatrician or the emergency room right away,’ says Charles Howell, M.D., a pediatric surgeon at MCG Children’s Hospital, in Augusta, Georgia. ‘Only an X ray can determine whether the coin has lodged in his esophagus or traveled to the stomach, and if it’s stuck in the esophagus, it will have to be removed.'”

  13. If a penny was stuck in the esophagus wouldn’t it be causing discomfort? Just curious. My 3 yr old swallowed one yesterday and I’m not sure wether to take him to the doctor or not.

  14. Reading all these comments has put my mind at rest as my 3 year old swallowed a penny 3 days ago and we have missed a couple of poos as she sneaked off without telling anyone. The coin has not yet come out but I now realise we could be in for a long wait.

  15. I know the banks are kinda on tippy edge and they may not be totally safe when it comes to saving money, but there has to be a better alt to swallowing coins.

  16. Thanks a lot for all posts, this gives lot of relief for me that nothing serious to worry. My 3 year old daughter swallowed a coin just 2 days before and the waiting/search still going on….

  17. Thanks for all the posts. My son swallowed a penny, I have no idea what year, about 8 hours ago. I had no idea what to do.
    I guess we will wait and see…..

  18. my 3 yr old daughter swallowed a quarter 2 days ago and 2 x-rays are showing it is still in belly. ped has prescribed reglan to help the stomach work harder to push it out. not sure medication is the way to go. also concerned because my daughter’s breathing sounds very croupy when she breaths in and out and she did get fever this morning! help

  19. my son swallowed a big button t’dy…took him to the dr. and she said it’ll pass and to wait and check the poop. he’s doing all ok… vomiting…..all normal…but still worried….hope it passes out soon……
    and Tracey how’s ur daughter doing now……did u go see dr again……hope she’s all ok by now….

  20. My 3 years doughter swallowed 5 pence coin 2 days ago. I called my gp they was close that time, then accident & emergency doctor told us this kind of case they getting 2 wice a week at least. if is breathing ok thats mean the coin is gone in stomach not in the lunch, and not too worry it will come out. but im still worryed. is there any one have got experience who child got all ready peny came out. it is realy stressfull. please someone help me out.

  21. My son, who is almost 3, has swallowed a penny. Just like all the other moms, I am too enduring the waiting game. The penny is still in his esophagus, however it is close to the stomach. (We got an x-ray yesterday and I was quite suprised at the location as he doesn’t have any trouble breathing, eating or drinking.) We go today for another x-ray and I just hope it is into the stomach or even better…on its way out. I wasn’t going to call the doctor, but I am glad I did. I would never have known that the penny isn’t in the stomach as I thought. It may seem silly but a doctor’s visit is informative. I am anxiously waiting.

  22. Hope that penny finds it way to the outside world very soon. Sorry for you and your son to have to wait – ug!

  23. My 5,5 year son swallowed a 5cent (of Euro) coin. We rushed him to the ER and were told to wait since the coin was in the stomach and usually the problem resolves itself. A week has passed and still no sign of the coin. My wife is trying to put him at the toilet daily, but unfortunately he does not succeed; he usually goes once every 2-3 days. We have 3 x-rays up to date, the latest showing the coin in the intestine. I am also worried about the possibility of poisoning from the copper or zinc that might consist the coin. Anyway, waiting is really painful and I really hope it will come out soon…

  24. My 20 months old baby girl swallowed a plastic button of about 1/2 inch diameter. Looking at the responses here, I hope she passes it out in a couple of days. Will pass by the doctor in some time to check on it.

  25. There is obviously a lot to know about this. Thanks

  26. Happy new year to everybody. After nearly a month the coin came out! And with …interest: my son claimed that it was a 5cent (Euro) but the one that came out was a 20cent, which is slightly bigger and thicker (diameter around 2,2cm). It seems that he was scared of punishment or he was playing with a lot of coins and coulf not identify it. Thank God we can sleep a bit relaxed now, that is until he does something else… Therefore patience is the key, since eventually they come out from the other end.

  27. my 3 year old daughter swallowed a penny a week ago..shes had 2 xrays and its still in the stomach. they prescribed her Lactulose to help her poop a bit more but today her pediatrician suggested to take her to the childrens hospital to see a gastroenterologist and have him determine if it may have stuck itself to her stomach due to her complaning of stomach pains during the weekend. this has been a waiting game and checking all of her stools…hopefully nothing medical has to be done and it comes out on its own becuase my nerves are through the roof.!

  28. Oh dear – so sorry to hear about your daughter. Hope you see that penny very soon without any medical intervention!

  29. I estimate there are heaps of somebodies like me, who come across assorted strong blogs or web sites by chance. Your web log appears to feature a excellent community and a good blogosphere presence. Its correct to have exciting and contrasting perspectives on issues.

  30. My 13 month old daughter just swallowed a 50ct coin 6hrs ago and we were very much woried before reading these comments.The X-ray shows it’s in the stomach and therefore we’ll have to wait and see when it’s coming out.It isn’t fun waiting though!

  31. My 3 year old son just swollowed a penny. Normally when he finds coins he goes and puts them in his piggy, so I assumed he would. Then I heard him crying saying he lost it, and it was in his mouth! I found this website cuz I was freaked out, and the doctors are closed today (Sunday). Should I take him for an Xray if he seems to be fine? How long should I wate to see a doctor?

  32. So sorry about the penny! Call your doctor and let him/her give you advice regarding looking for the penny in the stool and then seeing if you need an x-ray.

  33. My 21 year old son..yes 21 year old son… shoi was playing with 3 coins in his mouth while a game of taboo was going on in the house. In midst of the excitement he accidently swallowed a 1 rupee coin.
    I am genuinely concerned now because it has been nearly 5 days since the absurd incident and we have been tediously searching his feces, but havent yet come across the coin.
    Will he have to be probed or operated if it does not pass?

  34. Oh no! At least he is old enough to say if he is in pain. Ask your doctor about it. I can’t remember how long we waited for the coin to pass before going to get an xray. Maybe it was 3 weeks for us. Hope it will work out soon!

  35. my 22 month old daughter swallowed a coin today. Not sure what type of coin since she had a whole handful of them out of her sisters room. Our nurse line said to wait it out unless she vomits more than once or if she seems like her belly is hurting. She seems fine but that doesnt relieve my stress right now knowing there is a foreign object inside my baby girl. Looks like we will be making a trip to the ER if she vomits again, starts running a fever, or acts like she’s in any pain. ugh!

  36. our 2.6yrs old grandson swallowed a one rupee coin night of 28th april at 11″o clock while playing with his father’s purse. He told his mother who was working in the kitchen “amma coin in the mouth.” Immediately they rushed him to a hospital where X-ray was taken. The coin was seen in the stomach. So the doctor told them not to worry as it reached the stomach and asked them to watch carefully in his stools. Today it’s the 9th day. It didn’t come out yet and the boy is quite active and normal. The information given on website gives us some solacebut the waiting makes restless. My daughter is very tensed. waiting for help and moral support.

  37. Yes the waiting is difficult. Hope your daughter is doing okay and that your grandson will pass the coin soon.

  38. Ugh is right! Hope you won’t have to wait to long until the coin makes its way out. All the best to your daughter.

  39. My 2 year old swallowed a penny On tuesday. its now thursday night and still nothing. The ER doc also said a few days and it should pass, and also said if theres any fever vomiting or obvious discomfort or pain to bring her back in. I think before we got there it was stuck in her lower espophogus because she kept vomiting. but on the way to the ER she fell asleep and it must have slipped down in there while resting and relaxed sleeping cause xray showed it in her stomach. It was a 1972 penny because my son was just remarking minutes before she snatched it from him, that it was the same birth year as daddy. Go figure. guess it happens mroe than i thought! Glad to see IM not the only one waiting for a coin to pass.
    A friend was joking saying ‘Is it heads up or tails?” i said “heads of course. how else will it see to come out!?”

  40. That is hysterical – not that your 2 year old swallowed a penny – but about it coming out heads. Hope you see that 1972 penny very soon!

  41. Well my 6 yr old son just informed me that he swallowed a penny. With a grin on his face he says he wanted to know if it was like food. I took that to mean he wondered if it was edible. He’s behaving normally, his breathings fine and he said nothing hurts, so I prayed and thanked God for protecting him. Hopefully it will come out soon considering my son poops 3 times a day (no joke). Thank you to everyone that has shared their story.

  42. My 4 year old daughter swallowed a coin, nickle i wanna say- she’s not sure, about 3 hours ago, she seems to be feeling fine. After reading all the other mothers stories, I feel that she will be alright and pass it with in a week or so. Im still going to call the doc in the morning to get his thoughts on what should be done, but other than that the other mothers comments have somewhat put my mind a ease. Thanks.

  43. Hope the coin passes soon and glad you were able to hear from all the other moms with the similar affliction of the swallowed coin!

  44. i,m having a waiting game with my son he swallowed a 2p last friday 6 days later still no 2p we had to rush him to hospital the day he did it as it was stuck in his throat but thank god it moved down into his tummy so the docters just said to wait and see if it comes out , but its a week tomorrow so i think its a call to the docters in the morning.

  45. Hopefully he thought the penny tasted awful so that will be the end of that! Thanks for your comment!

  46. ok. i can kind of breath now. What is it with these 3 year olds and coins?? My son decided to be a piggy bank too two days ago and swallowed a 0.02 euro cent
    coin. doctors said it can take two days, he pooped last night and i felt i was taking part in a Fear Factor show looking for this coin with no joy. 😦 but reading the stories above it looks like we too have a long wait and id better get use to going through his poop God help me!

  47. my two year old girl swallowed a quarter 2 days ago. i had the past experience a few years ago with my older son when he was 10 months swallowing a penny and passing it within 2 days like his pediatrician said. a quarter is larger than a penny, as well as my daughter is bigger than a 10 month old. will she be able to pass it? she has been eating and drinking fluids fine. no vomiting. but, she woke up with hives this morning and a little temp. the hives went away within 30 minutes so did the temp and she’s still eating fine. is it possible to develop allergies to the metals in quarters? i have a history of allergies to metals including some golds. is it time for a doctor visit or emergency visit? or poison control?

  48. I don’t know – sounds like it’s time to call your doctor and maybe (hopefully) by now the quarter has passed. So sorry to hear about your daughter!

  49. Hello everyone, I have a 19 month old son, who 2.5 months ago might have swallowed a plastic button ( 2.3 – 3 cm diameter). I say – might, because we never found the button and it was within his reach. We did not go to the ER because we thought it was impossible for such a small baby to swallow a considerably big object without some serious digesting problems immediately after the act. I remember clearly, that the night, after he might had swallowed the button, he woke up screaming and we went to an emergency ( we were on vacation) and the doc, who examined him was not a ped – so no echo, or x-ray or other invasive exams have been made…..Upon return I had started asking doctors what we could do to see if he really swallowed the button. I was advised to wait because since it is a plastic button – x-ray could not be used and the only way is to do an endoscopic exam …or wait. We have been waiting for more than 2 months. A couple of weeks ago he started vomiting ( a couple of times within 2 days) and his stool was weird in color ( greenish). I wanted to know if anyone had heard of a swallowed object which cannot be released with the stool ( although his ped says it is harder to swallow than to remove it from the body naturally). Please advise….

  50. Oh dear! I am so sorry to hear about your son’s mysterious button. I don’t know what to say. Anyone have experience with this?

  51. Mira..sorry to hear about your son and the button. Why havent the doctors sugested ultra-scan since they cant x-ray? I think you should take the child to have a proper check up – if he did swallow the button it should be removed and i personally dont think you should leave this any longer maybe get a second opinion? I was told by my ped that if my son was to start vomiting or had a temperature they would have removed the 0.20 euro. but thank God it was out within a week. good luck and all the best.

  52. my 3 yrs old daughter has swollowed 5p coin today, am very worried about her she is fit and healthy. after reading all these comments i feel relieved,

  53. hi my son who is 10months i dont know if he swallowed a coin what am i going to do still i am bothered.

  54. the coin is like a button..he looks normal since yesterday.

  55. my almost 5yr old son swallowed a 5cent coin 2hrs ago. In a state of shock i gave him half ltr water 2 drink n mild laxative. He has no symtoms but i will take him 4 a check up. Im now watchin him sleep. But i need 2 knw if u usually find the coin stickin out the stool or hear it drop… How wil i find it?

  56. Sue, im sorry to say have to find an alternative for the toilet, and after he is done…go through the stool Thoroughly! i had gloves on and used chop sticks!!! it was fun and games, i remember thinking to myself what have i done to deserve such punishment! good luck!

  57. Thank you for all your posts! My son swallowed a coin tonight. He was playing and immediately ran to me in a panice that he had swallowed his money. My first reaction was to make him vomit then later thought it was probably a good thing he didn’t – just becuase of the risk of choking as it comes back up. So now after reading all these posts…we will wait. I am not looking forward to the search for the coin. But if I recall… I think that once upon a time I might have done the same thing to my mom…..huh??? nothing like coming full circle!

  58. My 3 yr old son was playing with a penny, i told him to put it down and i thought he would listen because he never plays with coins, then i heard him shocking,and freaked out, I asked him where coin was then he would say it was in his mouth and also in belly, so i assumed he swallow it, its been about 10 days and have not seen it in his stool, so I am worried, havent called doctor or x-rays. he seems normal, and does not have fever since incident, but he has cough up some pretty heavy saliva twice since then but clear. so i am worried what should i do

  59. ANOTHER WAY TO KNOW IF YOUR CHILD HAS PASSED A COIN IS BY USING A METAL DETECTOR. My 6 year old son swallowed 2 coins 9 days ago. One came out a couple of days after he swallowed them and the other one is still in him. He has had 3 x-rays and the last x-ray showed that the coin has not moved in the last 5 days. The doctor said it is in his colon. I started a mild laxative yesterday. Going through his stool is not the best thing in the world considering we never did find the first coin when it passed. Another way I check to see if he passed the coin is by using a metal detector over his belly, and yes it works. Praying that it will come out soon!

  60. My 5 year old son swallowed a penny and a nickle, in one shot yesterday…we are in the waiting game as well, he is fine btw. We are not. And the “searching” is beyond NOT fun!! I am just not looking forward to this taking more then 3-5 days!!!

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