What to Do When My Child Swallowed a Marble?

Doctor giving treatment to a Child after Swallowing a Marble

Curiosity acts as the driving force behind swallowing marbles among the children. Babies have the instinctive tendency to put small objects into the mouth directly.

Due to the negligence of extra busy parents, children are often left behind on their own. And as a result, there are cases of ingesting marbles (and can be fatal in many cases).

Marbles are often present in the kids’ toy sets or are used in decorative home pieces. So, children can quickly come in contact with them. Moreover, marbles have a quite appealing and quirky appearance which attracts the babies even more.

While this is quite a common phenomenon yet includes risk factors, parents cannot deny adding some extra knowledge to prevent and cure this circumstance.

What happens when your Child/ Toddler swallowed a marble?

In most cases, the marble gets evicted from the body as the digestive tract processes it naturally. It glides through the esophagus, stomach, and lastly, the intestine. Parents need to keep an eye on when the baby is pooping to make sure it is out of your baby’s body.

But it becomes dangerous if the marble is bigger than the size of the tiny esophagus of a child. If this happens, it is more likely to get stuck and cause a further emergency. In such cases, immediate clinical support is a must.

If the marble gets stuck, children may show some symptoms; abnormal chest, abdominal, and throat pain, blood in the stool, mild fever, coughing, difficulty in talking, excessive vomiting (including blood), and so on.

How long does it take to pass a swallowed marble?

Usually, when a child ingests marble, it hardly takes one or two days (24 to 48 hours) to pass it through the stool. It solely depends on the bowel habit of the baby. If the Child is more frequent in its bowel habit, the marble is likely to pass earlier and vice versa.

Parents can add foods like chia seeds, papaya, water, high fiber vegetables, or laxative simulants to smoothen the digestion process to accelerate the Process.

Also read: Baby isn’t Babbling yet? Things to Know Before Panicking

Is it safe to swallow glass marbles?

Sick kid laying on the bed after swallowing marbel
P.C. Helena

Though accidental ingesting of a normal marble might not affect much, swallowing glass marbles is always harmful and can cause serious health concerns.

As glass marbles are made of glass, even the smooth glass can change in shape with the assistance of stomach acid.

These glass marbles can easily get jammed in the wavy lining of the intestines. This stimulates gas and builds up pressure to the extent that it may split the intestines as well. If not so, the presence of stomach acid can corrode the glass surface and create sharp edges. And therefore, putting the risk of severe cuts around the abdominal organs.

Read: Is it safe for Kids to Take Tums? (Doctor Recommendation)

What happens if your Child swallows a stone?

The answer is quite apparent if the stone is small and the stone passes through the GI tract of your kid, it won’t cause much harm. It will pass through normal bowel movements.

But large stones with sharp edges are most likely to cause trouble. It may not pass through regular bowel movements and can also source severe injuries to the intestine. If the stone does not pass through the gastrointestinal tract smoothly, immediately seek medical help.

Diagnosis of accidentally swallowed marble

Once the parents notice the symptoms of ingesting marbles among the children, the first thing is to diagnose the Condition—Doctors first demand the brief medical history of the children and the symptoms. And then, considering the symptoms, they may conduct the radiologic diagnosis method.

X-ray is widely common to locate the marble and is the primary option for diagnosis. As X-ray has certain limitations, doctors may also ask for CT (computerized tomography) scan or metal detector to better understand or scan any foreign objects. Again, if the baby shows breathing problem symptoms, a Bronchoscopy is the possible way to get a closer vision of the airways.

Here is a quick video about what to do if your child swallows a small Marble or Object:

Treatment of Ingested Marbles in Children(Homecare and Doctor)

Child Swallows a Marble treatment
P.C. Polina

Treatment varies considering the Condition of the children. It can be general home care, a proper checkup, or even surgery.

Home Care (No severe Symptoms):

  • Poop Watch: Parents may need to be extra alert when the baby is pooping to be sure of the marble eviction.
  • Never panic, or it may frighten the baby as well.
  • Try to make your kid drink water frequently.
  • If the marble disrupts bowel movement or causes gas, try the Gentle Ease formula for quick relief.
  • Never try to make the kid vomit forcefully, or do not try to get the marble out forcefully.

Doctor and Further Treatment Options (Symptoms such as breathing issues, severe chest or stomach pain, and vomiting)

  • If the marble blocks the airways, CPR would be necessary. Back blows, the Heimlich maneuver is also helpful to get the marble out from the airway.
  • If the marble gets stuck inside the esophagus, doctors may conduct an endoscopy to remove the marble. Various types of surgeries can be taken into account considering the Condition.

How to Keep Your Child Away from Swallowing Marbles

  • Baby proof the whole house so that there are no traces of marbles or other objects that can be harmful to your baby.
  • Often Baby cribs, jumpers, or walkers include toys with marbles. Avoid such toys.
  • Babies tend to repeat the same thing repeatedly; thus, constant nursing or governance is needed.

The Final Takeaway

Well, babies swallowing marble is not just your concern, and you are not alone in this. Naturally, kids are attracted towards small objects; children within 6 months to 8 years of age are primarily under the warning radar. Parents must be careful and take all the measurements to prevent such occurrences. Nobody would like to risk their beloved babies, would they?


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Kinga Brukiewicz

My name is Kinga. I am a young and proud mom of my one and only daughter Lucy. My 3 years of Babysitting experience made my parenting life quite easy. I do a lot of research before buying baby products for Lucy and love to share my reviews and suggestions with young parents.