See A Penny, Pick it Up…Maybe it Comes Out In Your Poo Later

“Mommy, where’d the money go?”

“What money, sweetie?”

“The money.”

“Hold on. There was a penny there on the table, wasn’t there.”

“Where did it go?”

“Wait…where did it go Thalia?”

“I eat it.”

“You what? You ate the penny? Are you just saying that?”

“I put it on my tongue. I eat it. I swallow it.”

“And you swallowed it? You swallowed that penny? Why?”


“Yes, why?”

“I would like some dinner mommy.”

“You ate the penny because you’re hungry?”

“I would like a sandwich mommy. And milk in a cup.”

“Don’t eat money any more Thalia. You could choke. You could get sick. Do you understand?”

“Okay mommy.”

“Or at least eat dimes. They’re smaller.”

Update 10/3: The incident has passed. So to speak.


62 thoughts on “See A Penny, Pick it Up…Maybe it Comes Out In Your Poo Later”

  1. I’ve heard that since pennies are no longer made of copper, but zinc, they can be really hazardous if swallowed. The zinc degrades in your stomach and develops jagged edges. I think it would be worth a call to your pediatrician. The other coins aren’t as dangerous.Here’s some info from Mayo Clinic’s website: “Pennies minted after 1982 are made almost entirely of zinc. When these coins are exposed to stomach acid, they begin corroding almost immediately. A Duke University study showed the combined mixture of zinc and stomach acid creates a solution as corrosive as car battery acid. Lodged pennies can cause severe ulceration of the stomach.If your child swallows a penny, wait 1 or 2 days to see if it passes through his or her system. If the coin doesn’t appear in your child’s stools or if your child has stomach pain or vomits, take him or her to the emergency room.”

  2. According to the anonymous post above, it looks like you have a fun two days of poo archeology ahead of you.Happy digging! 🙂

  3. Thank you anon. I’m not freaked out at all. Stool watch 2007 replaces Clooney watch 2007 starting now.

  4. Eli did this when she was two. She was sooooooo amazed when the penny came out in her poo that she wanted to immediately swallow another one to repeat the experiment. My little scientist…make sure you repeat the trial ‘n’ times for statistical significance!

  5. Aw, Mom101 you stole my comment! I was going to say the exact same thing. 🙂As for anonymous, there’s always one, isn’t there? I’m sure she’ll be fine. Kids eat coins all the time.

  6. I read your post and laughed. Tacy asked why I was laughing, so I told her that your daughter ate a penny. And she asked, “Why?”I told her, “That’s what Liz wants to know too.”(I really hope it doesn’t wreak any havoc inside or on its way out. Eeeesh.)

  7. Sorry, I am laughing too…only because < HREF="" REL="nofollow">I feel your pain.<>Don’t let the first comment freak you out. My daughter’s penny came out a mere 12 hours later.

  8. Feed that child! LOLKids swallow coins all the time. Unless she emptied a piggy bank, I wouldn’t worry. If it ends up earning interest let me know- I’ll start putting quarters into my kid’s food ASAP. *chuckles*

  9. Oh, lordy. I love the coyness of toddlers. “Where did the money go?” Come on mommy, ask me where the money went so that I can TELL YOU I SWALLOWED IT MOUAHAHAHAHHAAAA!Feed her some prunes, it’ll speed right through.

  10. Oh, fun, in that not-so-fun kind of way.Reason #45 why I’m glad Cordy isn’t a kid who puts things in her mouth. But Mira is, so I’m sure I’ll be in the same situation someday.Hope it passes without any problems.

  11. Next she’ll start stuffing things up her nose or into her ears. My kids were both keen on peas in nasal passages and peanuts in the ear canals.Our pediatrician keeps the evidence of his extractions taped to their charts. It’s pretty funny when the pea that was removed from your son’s nose is compared to the pea that the very old pediatrician removed from your husband’s nose some 27 years earlier. (Yes, my kids go the same doctor my husband once went to). So if it makes you feel better, kids have been eating strange things and shoving weird items up their noses for ages. Or maybe is a weird gene that my husband passed along. Who knows?

  12. Excellent mommy advice on the dimes! And, hey — she probably needed some minerals in her diet, right? (Sorry!)

  13. Hey, I think anything smaller than a quarter is less of a choking hazard. Now anonymous has got me all freaked out too. My goat (Holden) has eaten pennies in the past. That’s right, I said PENNIES plural.Happy diaper diving.

  14. We thought Lovebug swallowed a guitar pic once. To keep Papa from taking it away from him he put it in his mouth. I even had him in a head lock trying to get it out only to find nothing in his mouth. I checked his poop for almost a week … finally found the guitar pic in our bedroom – lol.

  15. TB I have done that. Just make sure the baby is in the sling on the LEFT side or you’re screwed. Unless you’re a leftie.

  16. I did this when I was little too! 2 days later, I got to deposit the penny in my piggy bank. Just kidding – it got flushed. My mom didn’t feel like poo digging that day.

  17. It’s times like these you’re happy not to have started potty training, eh?Now that’s a story to put in her baby book…

  18. Sad thing is, if she ate one, there have been others. Despite what Anon said, almost all kids have probably swallowed a few cents. As long as you don’t find a bagful like on Grey’s last week, I’m sure she’s fine. ps. when my brother was two he said he swallowed a toy giraffe. He eventually “found” it in the toy chest. After my mom has been checking his poop for a week.

  19. This is the same Thalia of NY Times fame? Just checking, because now I’m wondering about their other sources. I’ll bet half the Bush admin still swallows change on a regular basis, come to think of it.

  20. My son swallowed a Lego man head his uncle let him play with w/o my knowledge. Imagine my suprise when I opened his diaper and saw a smiley piece of corn in the poo! After I dug it out and figured out what it was, I gave it back to my brother w/o telling him where it had been. BTW my brother is 31. Just so you don’t think I’m giving little children poo-y toys!

  21. Ha! I love how specific Thalia is about her requests. “I would like some milk in a cup.” As opposed to you pouring it down her throat straight from the jug. You make me laugh. And I am pretty sure my three year old has swallowed dimes, pennies, AND nickles and he’s just fine. No worries there.

  22. LOL. When I was much older than Thalia, when I was grand old lady of 17 or so, I swalloed an air rifle pellet. That too did pass.But you know, the damn things are made of lead so it just wouldn’t flush away. Stayed put at the bottom of the pot for yonks and embarrassed the hell out of me.

  23. My little darling swallowed 2 pennies one night. After a trip to the doctor the next morning, an x-ray to make sure the money was on the move, and several doses of a laxative to speed things along, the money passed. He actually wanted to dig around in the toilet to get them out…that would be a big negative there, son!

  24. Well there was probably less lead in it than some toys…Seriously though, I have never had a child swallow a penny yet. But I’ve played the lodge an item up the nose and have to have it extracted game before.

  25. When I was 16 yrs old, I used to babysit for the hottest male I’d ever laid eyes on and his entirely too plain wife. I loved him. I tolerated her. Their kid was awesome. Plus they paid well and had a well stocked fridge. I was their sole babysitter for a year, guaranteed two nights or more a week. Until their little brat swallowed a dime and I told them about it.The plain wife fired me on the spot, citing a lack of due diligence as the reason. (So I talked on the phone a bit…kid didn’t choke and wasn’t bleeding…couldn’t be that bad.)It was a sad day to say good bye to the hottie man. All because the mom had to wait and see if the kid crapped out a dime.I’m still bitter.Hope Thalia passes the money load quickly.

  26. I LOVE IT! My son did this twice to us, the first time we couldn’t find it in the diaper and the second time we did-you would have thought we won lotto! The shiny penny now resides in his baby book.k

  27. My oldest did something similar by proudly pointing to his stomach when I asked him where the penny went and he said, “In tummy”. And it was.

  28. Glad to see that it passed! I’m sorry to say that I found this post while Googling the phrase “swallow a penny” because my toddler may have done just that a half hour ago.

  29. I’ll never understand what makes pennies so delicious. Kids never eat quarters. Have you ever heard of a kid eating a quarter? Or a nickel? No, it’s always pennies. Maybe I’ll have to give one a try.

  30. I was absolutely laughing outloud at this post (particularly your comment–“eat dimes, they’re smaller”) until I read Anon’s comments. Way to put a damper on it!First time visiting. Thanks for the laugh!

  31. My 12 year old son swallowed a loonie and it never came out that we know of. He is 19 now and never had problems. He had an xray and the doctor saw it had just left his stomach and he said wait and see and I guess we’re still waitin’!

  32. I know this post is almost a year old……but my son just swallowed a penny the other day&googled the phrase’swallowed a penny’……I’m glad I found this blog:)Good stuff!

  33. I would not say that kids don’t swallow quarters, my oldest child did once. It was the worst thing ever rushig him to er, and then about fainted when they did xrays. It looked as if he had swallowed my rings as well…….note to others if you are holding your child down for xrays move your hands lol. So after putting him “under” they got some nifty pictures of the loged coin and pulled it out. Only took 45 min for whole thing. Back to why i am here my youngest has now ingested a penny thank god it was smaller, but still has not passed it, can’t do poop watch cuz it is just poo colored water coming out. Joy he seems to be pluged up. NOW WHAT DO I DO???

  34. Well, my 18 month old daughter apparantly swallowed a loonie (Canadian one dollar coin – not small, bigger than a quarter). I found out when I found it in her diaper – didn’t even know she had swallowed it. So I’m rather relieved to know that it seemingly passed through her system ok.

  35. OttawaLegend here……so much for me putting money in my kid’s birthday cake. My 5 year old just swallowed a penny 10 minutes ago….and voila I found you here. But I have to admit I was looking for Ontario Health first. Man they need a new web-site. Thanks for calming my nerves most of you…..

  36. i ate 5 pennies two days ago and havent seen any yet. my stomach was hurting this morning. i guess ill wait it out another day and see how i feel before getting an x ray or something like that. i guess if im pooing normally that would mean theres no blockage, right?

  37. Anon, if you’re serious, go to the doctor now. Please. It’s not about blockage, it’s about the copper breaking down and eating your stomach lining.I won’t even ask why you ate 5 pennies if you’re old enough to be googling about it.

  38. my daughter just swalled a penny do i need to take her to the er?

  39. Aw, anon – no need. It should come out in the next 24 hours or so. If not, call your pediatrician. But don’t panic! The likelihood is it passes on its own.

  40. I am a researcher on a television special about children who swallowed unusual objects. The stories can be recent or as much as 7 years old (we’ll still need access to the x-rays). If you have a unique or dramatic story to share, please email me and I will tell you more about the show:

  41. No need for a trip to the hospital. My 16 month old boy swallowed one on a Thursday night and after a long four days of searching diapers and feeding him prunes, bananas, bread, and all kind of fiber, it came out on Monday, a bit discolored. Yes it was a relief to see it out, keep searching, don't panic. Since then we call our kid 'penny boy'.

  42. My four year old son just ate a dime about an hour ago and I found this blog while trying to search for answers as to what I should do. I suppose if a penny doesn't usually hurt kids, then a dime really won't, so I'm not as scared now as I was an hour ago! I called his doctors office and they wanted me to drag him in there right away for X-rays and exams, but I thought I should wait it out a little bit and see how he acts and feels. I gave him fish sticks, watermelon, pizza rolls, milk, and kiwi apple juice, and he ate and drank everything fine and is acting like his happy normal self. So I was just wondering if this seems ok to anyone else who reads this, or if I really should bring him in right away for a simple dime? Am I a horrible mom for telling the nurse on the phone that I wanted to wait a few hours to see how he seemed, before I drive all the way to the doctor and subject my kid to xrays and stuff!? Help!

  43. Mamabear, from what my doctor told me and most of what I read here, you're pretty much okay. In all likelihood it will…come out tomorrow. Keep an eye out.

    If not you can take further steps but I don't think you need to panic. Hopefully by tomorrow night you'll be having a good laugh about it like we did.

  44. Ok so my 6 year old daughter was having her first sleep over at our house. Her friend, who is 7, and her were playing in my daughters room and I hear my daughter start to scream “Mommy!!” I look up the staircase and her friend is hunched over holding her throat and I freaked out. “What is wrong? what's going on?” The friend is able to choked up say “I …. got….to …. puke…!” I tell her its okay I will clean it up but what is wrong. “I …. quarter!” My daughter finally steps up and says “she was trying to hide my quarter from me, and she choked on it.” Very matter of fact and nonchalantly. So I look at the friend and say “Did you really put a quarter in your mouth? Where is it now?” All she can do is point at her throat. All the while I am holding her hands above her head and hitting her back trying to dislodge the quarter. She just shakes her head yes. “I'm gonna puke” she says again. “Its okay I will clean it up later. Get it out! Don't swallow! Just don't swallow, please. Puke it up it is okay!” Does she listen, heavens no she doesn't want to puke. She coughs so violently that she does puke a little but no quarter. Then I call her parents to tell them that I am taking her to the hospital and if see they want to meet me there. We get there and lo and behold they are closed!! can you imagine an emergency room that closes!! At 5:30 pm non the less…. Fortunately for us by this time she has swallowed it down and it is now sitting in her stomach. So after making sure she is ok her mom asks her do you want to go home and take a bath? “No I want to stay the night with my new friend mom!!” Gosh as if we all hadn't just been through the most terrifying experience. On the bright side my husband cleaned up all the puke while I was gone and I don't have to be on poop watch!! And if you can believe it this is my first coin to be swallowed. Had to deal with peas up the nose and eating a plant leaves but never swallowing coins.

  45. I realize this post is very old but thanks for it being here my 4 year old ate a penny and I wasn't to worried but my wife was and this helped alleviate her worries. Now we know what to look for in the slim chance their is a problem.

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