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31 Comments

  1. My brother’s “dime” was a nickel that closed his daughter’ airway.
    Thankfully he was able to dislodge it before she suffocated.

    These things happen without warning and without prejudice.
    This is such a sobering but needed reminder.

    Our “dime” can be a coin, or a quick text sent while driving behind the wheel.
    Blink.

    Life is forever changed.

    1. Bekki, your words gave me chills: “Our “dime” can be a coin, or a quick text sent while driving behind the wheel. Blink.” So much yes.
      I’m so glad your brother’s daughter is safe. <3

  2. thanks so much for sharing – wonderful writing and made me tearful. Also makes me angry and sad for you that you live in the richest country on the planet and you have to pay for health care….even with insurance as you note. I am so proud to live in Canada – when my five year old son cracked his head open and we rushed to hospital for local anesthesia and three staples in his scalp we walked out without paying a dime. That ER was specially designed for children so he got a little helicopter toy from the nurses as well. Shouts out and much love to The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

    1. That sounds so scary, Anne! I’m glad your little guy got the best care possible.

      And I have to admit this health care system makes me angry too!

    2. Anne! I Felt thee EXACT Same way when I read the BILL?!?!;( I am also in Canada & enjoy the world class privilege of our healthcare system. I too share in your aggrevation towards the United States Healthcare System.. Just grinds my gears when I think of all the hospital trips we have had & the certain homelessness I would be facing if I had to pay that type of cost.:( HeartBreaking really… I too had my teen when 3 years old stuff a Christmas Craft Pom-Pom right up her nose & no successful tries at getting it out. We were lucky enough to rush in a $20 Cab ride to Sick Kids Hsptl who’s clever nurses tweeted inside to get it out in the blink of an eye. My 2nd child.. Different story! I had Poison Control literally on my speed dial #6 bcuz of how much she got into any second I turned my head the other way. Her 3’s were some scary years. All is well now.

    3. How wonderful to be part of a country that does not just say they care about its citizens. The healthcare in the US has to be amount the worst out of all the progressive nations. We now pay more for less coverage and because everyone now has a plan, whether paid out of our pockets or gifted by the government, hospitals and clinics that were once empty or busy but efficient, are now jammed packed for non-urgent incidents like the sniffles.

      What once was a nominal co-pay now has a high co-pay with a bill mailed in a few days.

  3. Hi Kelly –

    Thanks for sharing your story – I’m so glad your sweet little girl is okay!

    My daughter swallowed a quarter when she was 2 1/2. She was in my bedroom watching a TV show and I heard coughing. I went in there to see if she was okay and she was throwing up a little. She said something about money and I said, “Did you put the money in your mouth?” And she cried, “yes.” I frantically searched the carpet for the quarter but found nothing. My husband was out of town (he doesn’t travel often, but of course something like this would happen when he was), it was about 6:00 on a dark, fall night. I told my oldest to run across the street and get the neighbor (I think I just didn’t want to be alone), and I called 911. Almost immediately I had an ambulance and police officers at my house.

    It’s all pretty much a blur, but the EMTs were able to determine that she was not in immediate danger (her airway was clear), but they said she would need to go to the ER to be checked out. They said that I could drive her or she could ride in the ambulance. I opted for the ambulance because I was the only adult there and was very nervous that she would start throwing up in the car and that the quarter would become lodged in her airway somehow. (I’m glad I did because she did continue to throw up in the ambulance.) I sent my older two home with my sweet neighbor (who also cleaned my carpet). At the ER, they took an x-ray and confirmed that the quarter was in her digestive tract and that the normal procedure was to just wait for it to pass. We had to go back every few days to make sure it was progressing.

    We were having daycare save her poopy diapers so that we could check them each night and on the 9th day, I had set her diaper in the garage and was just kind of avoiding it because I was getting so discouraged every time the search came up empty. I just kept thinking, “how can a quarter pass through her little body? There is no way!” My husband got home from work, took on the task of digging through the daycare diaper and there it was! 9 days!

    We were so grateful. This situation could have been worse in so many ways, I get upset just thinking about it. The “blackened” quarter is saved for her scrapbook, a story that will be told time and time again, a lesson learned the hard way.

    1. Oh, Erin. I felt like I was living those scary moments alongside with you as I read your words. Thank goodness your girl is safe and sound.

    2. My daughter swallowed a quarter 2 days ago and my daughter is potty trained, i keep telling her she needs to hurry and poop it out. Im so nervous and anxious waiting for it!!!

  4. Oh god, both my kids are so damn mouthy – always have been. My daughter is 4 and should be past this, but yesterday she put a little bouncy ball in her mouth (why????) and I just lost my mind. It doesn’t help that my colleague just lost her 14 yo son after he choked on medicine of all things – a totally horrible, freakish accident that happened before her eyes. I think it’s wonderful that you kept the dime as the constant reminder of what could have been, and that accidents can and do happen.

    1. Laura, oh my goodness. Your colleague must be beyond devastated. Sending thoughts of peace and strength her way. <3

  5. Our “dime” was not a coin at all. Ours was a stick pin that my four year old son was playing with from my pin cushion, who’s pretty bright needle attached to a colorful end, got stuck sideways in my then almost two year old’s throat. She had seen her brother playing with them so she took a couple that he had dropped on the floor and put into her mouth. The first one came out easy and we too thought that was all. Then she started coughing and couldn’t stop even after drinking water ?, and began drooling. I looked and looked but did not see anything.

    My husband swears he saw a flash of metal as I picked her up with her mouth open so I could look. He grabbed a flashlight and there it was. Lodged way in the back, just far enough to be out of reach. He handed her to me to keep her calm and reassured that Daddy would fix it. He brought back a pair of surgical clamps and told our baby that she needed to lay very still in mommy’s lap with her mouth wide open and close her eyes so she would not panic when she saw the clamp.

    For someone who had given her pediatrician fits the week before about saying Awww during a routine follow up exam, she looked at him and then me, snuggled up real close in my arms, closed her eyes, and opened her mouth. A couple of seconds later my triumphant husband held up a straight pin clamped in its jaws. God blessed our family that day with His mercy and grace. She has not picked up a pin again and I have put them out of reach of everyone, even me.

  6. Kerri Sullins says:

    Wow… too bad this post had to become political. Each country has their own advantages & disadvantages. But I’m sure glad to live in a country, the USA, that began with freedom at its base. What we have done do it, is on us. Nothing in world is “free.” And I would rather have freedom to choose over anything that I may be “given freely.”

    1. Way to NOT make things political! Lots of us (myself included) live in free countries that also provide health care. I was born and raised in the US and now live in Australia and health care is the #2 reason I will never move back to the US. (The lack of gun control is #1. My children’s freedom to, you know, actually live – let alone live without fear – trumps anyone’s freedom to carry semi-automatic weapons.) I strongly suggest you travel a bit and broaden your horizons. The US does not have a monopoly on freedom!

    2. Sandra Dellegrazie says:

      The US was NOT in any means built on freedom. Rather slavery , lies and devastation sounds more like it , also it’s not political to say that we are happy to live in a country where we have the benefits of “ mostly free “ health care.

  7. I’m so glad your sweet baby is ok.

    This story has me feeling anxious and wanting to search the house high and low for change. We have a two year old and an 8 month old.

  8. My son was 2 and a bit. We were both sitting in the car buckled up waiting for my husband to deliver products to a client when all of a sudden my son started chocking on something. What was it, … I had no idea because he wasn’t eating anything. It was something not coming up or going down. I turned a 360 degree turn in my buckled up seat to try get what ever it was out of his throat. I touched it but it was probably just knocked it further into his throat. Now I tried to get to him, felt like and eternity with car doors locked and belts to negotiate. When i finally got to his little now blue face that had been gagging for too long.. says to me, its gone mommy!! What is gone my boy I yell in absolute panic and I am completely shaken up. He says a lollypop which it wasn’t but then it hit me. I had taken my car in to have his electric window repaired and the mechanic had left a screw in the door handle. Which guilty mom had seen in passing and just like you intended to move it and didn’t. My son had just swollowed a large screw with a washer and a sharp point that I had slipped up on in forgetting to move it. And so now…we panic again. Just like you I was told it should pass. if not after 2 days then x-ray time. Luckily my story ended here and it did pass and just like you I have the screw kept in a jar for keeps sake to remind me of all the same thing your coin did. A day and 24 hours, I wont ever forget.

  9. Once again one of your posts made me cry! But in a healing way. My 2 yr old son ate a walnut, which we soon discovered he is deathly allergic to. Of course he ate it under MY care while I was trying to put my baby to nap. It was pretty traumatic for me and I now am in therapy for it. A new mom watching her first baby almost die is very painful. This post makes me feel better and reminds me that I am doing the best I can, and I need to stop blaming myself for it happening. I agree with all the comments about US health care too! It also sickens me that we are “one of the most powerful countries in the world” but the only one remaining that doesn’t offer paid maternity leave! Uuggh, ok don’t even get me started lol.

  10. My daughter called me at work one morning to tell me that something weird was going on with my 2 year old granddaughter. she kept coughing and sometimes around her mouth turned sort of blueish. I asked if she had drank some kind of chemical she said no, I asked if she could have swallowed a toy- she said she didnt think so and she seemed to be breathing ok. I asked her if she thought she should go to the Dr. she wasnt really sure. I got this same call every hour or so, so finally I told her to meet me at my work and we would drive her to the quick care. That was 20 minutes away. They really were in no hurry to take her in the room and when they finally did they told us an x ray showed she swallowed a nickel and we needed to take her to the hospital to have it removed. we started driving to the hospital and she immediately started coughing and turning blue so we pulled into the fire department and they had an ambulance take us to the hospital (which is what the quick care should have done we were told) We got to the hospital and even though they were in no hurry they agreed she needed surgery to have it removed. We waited for her to come out of surgery and when she did the Dr. said he couldnt believe it–it was a quarter she had swallowed!!! We got that same container as you and we have a quarter in it and it also sits where we can see it as a reminder…..when she was 5 she stuck a penny up her nose and the ambulance came and removed it!! KIDS……..

  11. Wow, so scary, Kelly. Gosh I can just imagine all the feelings you went through—guilt, fear, wondering “If I’d only done that…” Ugh. I’m so glad your little girl is okay, and that you listened to her words and took action. Talk about an expensive lesson to learn that kids really do put things in their mouths!

  12. I swallowed a quarter when I was 7, it was scary and I never told anyone about it. Just reading this story makes me think what a big problem it could have been. I remember going to sleep that night and could feel it in my throat. I assume it passed safely…I’m still here 28 years later.so think about all those things that happen when your not looking and be grateful that if was going to cause a problem be glad you were there.

  13. Glad to hear your son is ok but the US health system is truly broken.

  14. Dianne Brody says:

    Kelly I don’t think it is a guilt story. It is a reminder that these little ones for a few years do need vigilance from parents. No more dropping your purse wherever when you walk in the door. No more waste baskets with toiletries disposed in them on the open floor. And as a new grandmother if I hear “oh it will build up their immune system” when they chew on the dog toys I am going to scream. We didn’t have purell all over the house we didn’t have alot of todays convenience. Our kids played in the dirt, swung from trees, and went to the park, we had pets. But we were vigilant and respectful no matter how tired we were. We had 3 children under the age of 4 and our fair share of stiches etc.
    But we adapted to our children not the other way around. Accidents will always happen… toddlers and kids are curious and resourceful but the level of ..”oh no big deal” is painful to watch.. no need to hover but basic change of habits is so important during this time. Too often there is no learning curve on child safety.
    I loved this mom’s perspective. . No perfection needed.

  15. GrandmaFoyBell says:

    I am glad your daughter is doing well.

    My granddaughter swallowed what we thought was a quarter, because of the size of the metal that was in her stomach from the x-rays. 7 days later, a penny came out of her poop!

    Before we waited for it to pass, we immediately took her in for x-rays!! That is when we learned the coin had made it to her stomach. We followed the medical advise to wait and take x-rays in about 5 days. As long as she was active, we were told that all is well.

    Because of your experiences and other’s experiences, we didn’t stress out (and my prayers, of course). Thanks for the internet and people like you.

    Be Blessed!!!!

  16. Hi. Our almost 4 year old daughter swallowed a penny tomorrow is a week ago. She told me about it at 10 pm one night. I didn’t know if it was imagination or real. I took her the next morning to our urgent care because I knew they could x-ray her and our pediatric office could not. The doctor was great, said no big deal. It was in her stomach and she would pass it by the next evening. That did not happen. I took her back for another x-ray. It is still in her stomach and appears to have moved up not down. He is very worried now. We see her pediatrician in the morning for I am sure a referral. Looks like we are headed for an EGD soon to get it out. Pennies dated prior to 1982 left in the stomach can cause kidney problems and bleeding ulcers. So. Parents, please be careful. Follow your God given gut feelings. And say a prayer for our baby girl.

    1. Did u guys get it out?

  17. Serenity Martel says:

    for some reason, my 13-year old daughter decided it would be a good idea try and make her friends laugh by swallowing 5 dimes, me and my husband had to bring her home early from school because she was throwing them up. She is ok now but was puking for a good 2 hours.

  18. My 2 year old swallowd a quarter last night. He came to me gagging as i was Cooking dinner. As I went to turn him over and pat his back, he started crying, so I knew his airway was clear. His dad and I rushed him to the ER, and sure enough the x-ray showed a quarter in his stomach! He has to go back in two days to get an x-ray. This was by far the scariest thing that has happened as parents for us!

    1. Heather M Perryman says:

      How long did it take to pass?

  19. My brother swallowed a penny today and I can’t stop crying.

  20. My 2 year old just did that. Luckily, she was able to pass it and had no signs of trouble, just her normal self. However I’m in mommy panic mode wishing and hoping we do not have to go through surgery. She swallowed a penny the day before Thanksgiving. I was cleaning, I noticed the penny on the green table and had told one of my oldest to put it up as it was their penny. My 2 year old was watching tablet laying down on the bed as I folded clothes and I didn’t even know she had scooped the penny up and was playing with it in her mouth until she immediately sprung up coughing and gagging. Then she took a big gulp and I ended up putting two and two together and noticing the penny was gone from the green kids table and I grabbed another penny and ask if this is what she ate. She replied yes. So to the e.r. we went and now it’s finally out so our penny scary journey is done. I will now just put things up myself from now on..