1 in 3 British Parents Turn To Google When Their Child Swallows Something They Shouldn’t


New research by a money saving website in the UK has revealed the top everyday things that children do, which scares their parents; including swallowing small objects and falling over. According to the survey, when a child swallows an object, 38% of parents Google the situation, 34% will phone or attend the doctors/hospital and 20% will wait for the item to work its way back out of the body.

A dolls hand, a key from a keyboard and a wedding ring are amongst the weirdest things that children have tried to eat or swallowed, whilst Lego and beads are the most common. Furthermore, 1 in 3 parents will turn to Google as their first port of call when they realise that their child has swallowed something they shouldn’t.

The team at www.VoucherCodesPro.co.uk conducted the research as part of an ongoing study into British family dynamics. 2,407 British parents, all of whom stated they had at least one child under the age of seven years old, were quizzed about their parenting and whether or not they considered themselves to be overprotective.

Initially all respondents were asked ‘Would you consider yourself to be an overprotective parent?’ to which almost two thirds of respondents, 64%, stated ‘yes’ and the remaining 36% stated ‘no’. Those who stated ‘yes’ were asked in what ways they were overprotective, to which the most common responses were ‘I don’t like to let them out of my sight’ (49%) and ‘I worry about any sign of an illness or injury’ (38%). Over half of these respondents (57%) admitted that they wish they could be more relaxed in their parenting.

Of those who stated ‘no’, that they didn’t consider themselves overprotective, the main reasons cited were ‘my child needs to make mistakes in order to learn from them’ (39%) and ‘Being overprotective is to stressful’ (35%).

All respondents were then asked to state what their children did that worried or panicked them the most. When provided with a list of possible responses and told to select all that applied, the top five results were as follows:

  1. Swallowing small objects that shouldn’t be eaten – 56%
  2. Falling over – 49%
  3. Wandering out of sight – 36%
  4. Lodging items up their nose and/or in their ears- 19%
  5. Displaying rowdy or aggressive behaviour – 12%

According to the poll, ‘lego pieces’ (9%) and ‘beads’ (8%) were the most common inedible items that children try to eat or swallow, whilst more obscure items ingested included a dolls hand, a key from a computer keyboard and an earring. 4% of respondents also admitted that their children had at one point or another tried pet food, and a further 3% admitted that their children regularly ate mud.

When asked what they did in situations where the children swallowed something that they weren’t supposed to, 38% admitted their first reaction was to Google it, 34% immediately phoned or attended the doctors and/or hospital, and 20% admitted they waited for the item to pass out of the body.

George Charles, spokesperson for www.VoucherCodesPro.co.uk, made the following comments:

“Children simply don’t have the common sense to know better than to have a good chomp on that tasty block of Lego. It’s almost impossible to wrap your child up and protect them from anything that could possibly go wrong, and unfortunately these things do happen. The only advice we can give is not to rely on the power of Google – calling a doctor is a far better idea, instead of listening to random strangers’ anecdotes. Every case is different and only a medical professional can tell you what is the best course of action for your child.”