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What to Do If Your Child Swallows Polystyrene?


What to Do If Your Child Swallows Polystyrene

Expanded polystyrene is a popular foam plastic made from styrene monomers. EPS is popularly used as an insulator for food and packaging. The product is great as an insulator and is widely used for Thermal insulation applications.

Expanded Polystyrene is however susceptible to being swallowed or ingested especially by kids or babies as the case may be. While different bodies like the American Academy of Family Physicians have said that swallowing a small amount of Expanded Polystyrene should not be harmful to the body, parents are usually advised to ensure such incidents are prevented.

Regardless of how harmless or otherwise of Expanded Polystyrene, it is best to avoid a situation where the kid swallows the substance.

It is even more important for parents to put measures in place to prevent their children from swallowing Expanded Polystyrene as a large amount of the substance can get stuck in the stomach, intestines or even esophagus, causing several problems to the body.

As the ingested Expanded Polystyrene will not be digested if it passes through the esophagus, it could potentially block the system.

There are also situations where child chokes as a result of swallowing a large amount of Expanded Polystyrene that subsequently gets stuck in the throat.

What to do when Expanded Polystyrene is swallowed?

As mentioned earlier, the amount of Expanded Polystyrene consumed would usually determine its effect on the child.

If a large amount of Expanded Polystyrene is consumed, leading to a blockage in the airway, parents are advised to seek medical help immediately.

However, if the choking or coughing stops, it is advised that parents watch the child for a few more days to see if there are any symptoms of irritation or infection.

Depending on the severity of the case, an X-ray or bronchoscopy might be needed to remedy the situation.

For first aid treatment to such an incident, parents are advised to take CPR lessons to be abreast of what to do. Parents are advised to keep such substances away from the reach of young children.