If there’s one thing you can count on when it comes to kids, it’s that they’ll find unusual ways to injure themselves. When it comes to toys, if it’s small enough to fit in your child’s body, you can almost guarantee that you’ll find yourself asking, “You stuck what, where?” at some point in your life. When this happens, it’s essential to know what to do to ensure no permanent damage occurs. Here are a few steps to remember when you find yourself in this situation.

Stay Calm

No matter what type of danger your child faces, the most important thing you can do is to stay calm. If you become panicked, you will forget all that you’re supposed to do in order to help your child recover. Plus, you’ll get your child worked up, as well, which could lead to further injuries if he or she begins to run around or breathe heavily. So, no matter how badly you’re freaking out on the inside, do your best to maintain a calm facade.

Understand the Situation

Once you’ve got your own emotions under control, it’s important that you assess the situation. Even if your child requires emergency care, they will receive a higher quality of care if you know exactly what happened. Try to get visual verification of the location of the toy if at all possible to ensure it’s not a false alarm. Additionally, if your child can talk, you’ll want to ask them and any other witnesses about what happened. This will help you understand if you can take care of the situation at home or if you need expert assistance. The most likely places for your child to have stuck a small object are their ears, mouth or nose. If the object is not blocking their airway, and is simply causing distress or pain, don’t worry. There will be away to remove it. If it is blocking an airway, try performing the Heimlich maneuver and calling 911.

Don’t Wait

Do not try to remove the object yourself—you could push it further in. Take your child to his or her pediatrician. If the object is a battery, it’s important that you head to an urgent care center right away, as the alkaline can leak and damage the walls of the nose and throat. Don’t wait around and hope the situation will improve on its own. If the injury is serious, there may be hidden effects that are causing more damage than the issues you can see. Therefore, don’t hesitate to rearrange your plans so you can take your child to the hospital to get the care they need.

Set New Rules

Once your child has been released from the hospital, it’s important to put new rules in place to help prevent a future emergency. For example, if your child was previously able to play with certain toys, those toys may need to go in “time out” until your child gets a little older and more responsible. Whatever you do, it’s important that you make some type of change to prevent a repeat performance that could have even more disastrous consequences.

Think Like a Child

The best way to stop toy mishaps before they start is to think like a child. Look around your home to try and find different items that could potentially cause problems. Whether these items are toys, decor, or some other type of item, it’s important to protect your child by putting these items out of arm’s reach. Though it may be inconvenient, it is far less inconvenient than a serious toy mishap.

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