Re: Swallowed sponge capsule

From: Howard McCollister (
Date: 12/09/04

Date: 8 Dec 2004 21:07:11 -0600

"Carey Gregory" <> wrote in message
> "cppow" <> wrote:
>>Dimensions: 3 " x 2 " (sponge)
>>Weight: 0.25 lb
> Didn't realize they were that big. I see your point. If a child
> swallowed
> a capsule that swelled to 3.5 inches (~9 cm) in his stomach, that would
> definitely be a problem. It would be too large to vomit and too large to
> pass into the duodenum, so there it would stay. I imagine it would have
> to
> be cut up and retrieved via endoscopy. Probably not life threatening, but
> definitely unpleasant and expensive.
> The worst case scenario would be if it passed into the intestines before
> expanding and created a blockage requiring surgery. But I think that
> would
> be unlikely since it would probably expand before entering the duodenum.
>>Recommended Age: 3+ Years"
> Would a 4 year old swallow a capsule? Of course he would. The toy sounds
> like a bad idea to me unless there are safeguards not apparent on those
> web
> sites. For example, one site says they expand in "warm water." Is it
> possible they only dissolve in water warmer than body temperature? Or
> maybe
> they break down and dissolve in stomach acid?

I'd call the manufacturer to be sure, but I suspect the sponge will break
down in the stomach.