Pediatric Foreign Body Aspiration

Pediatric Foreign Body Aspiration



Pediatric foreign body aspiration occurs when a child inhales a foreign object. This can cause significant breathing problems and requires prompt treatment.

Expanded Overview

When a child inhales a foreign object, it lodges in the respiratory tract. This most often occurs in children age 3 and under because of their curiosity and likelihood of putting objects into their mouth.

A child may breathe in an organic object like a seed or popcorn, or an inorganic object like a button, bead or rock. This can cause partial or total blockage of an airway. An object that goes unnoticed can eventually cause an infection.


Signs that your child may be choking on a foreign object include:

  • Choking
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty breathing or breathing trouble (respiratory distress)
  • Irritability 
  • Wheezing

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