Did You Know?!
In the European Union each year, an estimated 400 children (14 years or younger) die from choking.[Ref:34]
Chewing on the cap (or other loose part) of a pen or pencil is dangerous, especially if your chair tips backwards and makes you gasp. Plastic parts may be easy to grasp in the bronchus, but difficult to remove through the vocal cords. A plastic pen cap is removed from a pre-teen’s bronchus in the video.
Metal parts from a pen or pencil may become so deeply imbedded in a swollen bronchus that external surgery (thoracotomy and bronchotomy) might be necessary.
A miniature whistle (without its “key ring”) could also be inhaled and cause similar problems.
The final images below reveal a metal spring from a pen, lodged in a toddler’s right main bronchus.