Being a parent means endless worrying about anything and everything you could ever imagine, and many things you could never fathom you'd have to worry about. Having young children means constantly worrying about them putting things in their mouths, up their noses and in their ears. It seems children are obsessed with putting things anywhere but where they actually belong! Many parents have unfortunately dealt with the stress that comes when their child swallows a piece of a small toy, like a Lego block. While Lego can be super fun and give your child hours of entertainment, they're also tiny and more often than you think end up being swallowed by a curious child.
While parents no doubt panic after realizing the missing Lego piece is in their child's stomach and not on the floor somewhere, a group of pediatricians in the UK decided to conduct their own research to help reassure parents that swallowing a Lego piece may be uncomfortable, but it shouldn't cause any hard to the child.
In the study cheekily titled, "Everything Is Awesome: Don't Forget the Lego." and published in the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, six pediatric health‐care professionals each swallowed the yellow head of a Lego character and then waited to see how long it would take for it to pass by checking their stool. So, how long does it take for an average, healthy adult to pass the head of a yellow character?
Not as long as you may have thought. The average time it took to pass the Lego character was 1.71 days although one of the doctors never found their Lego head. The study concluded that he either missed finding it or it simply hasn't passed yet. The study did point out that the women doctors were perhaps more skilled in searching for the Lego head, although they failed to make a scientific conclusion proving that point.
We've finally answered the burning question - how long does it take for an ingested lego head to pass?— Tessa Davis (@TessaRDavis) November 23, 2018
THIS is dedication to paediatrics - but it was worth it to advance science and paediatric emergency care.https://t.co/tZ4b9Yo8Kf pic.twitter.com/Nda7rqs7Zl
Still the doctors are confident this experiment may help alleviate some of the concerns parents of children who have swallowed small toys may feel. “A toy object quickly passes through adult subjects with no complications,” they wrote in conclusion of the study. “This will reassure parents, and the authors advocate that no parent should be expected to search through their child’s feces to prove object retrieval.”
In a blog post written about the experiment, the doctors write about why they decided to ingest the Lego heads and agree it isn't 'hard science,' and that it's just "a bit of fun in the run up to Xmas."