Most Common Foreign Bodies

The most common aerodigestive foreign bodies worldwide are fishbones, coins, nuts and seeds.


Coins usually lodge in the esophagus. They are most common aero-digestive foreign body requiring removal under general anaesthesia.

Nuts and Seeds

Peanuts and almonds are the most common nuts found in the bronchi. Peanuts create more bronchial inflammation than any other food. Both sunflower seeds and their shells are choking hazards.


The most common foreign body to lodge in the swallowing passages; this may lead to a severe infection of the neck and/or chest. Poultry bones are also hazardous.

Raw Vegetables

One of the more common bronchial foreign bodies, raw carrots should never be used as a teether! Cooking carrots vastly reduces the risk.

Raw Fruit

Even if the apple (or pear) skin is removed, crispy raw fruit is still a choking hazard. Watermelon seeds are the most commonly aspirated fruit seeds. Watermelon rind has also become a bronchial foreign body.

Hard Candies

Hard, round candies can be lethal if inhaled between the vocal cords (or beyond) or if swallowed (by compressing the airway from behind).

Unpopped Popcorn Kernels

Unpopped popcorn kernels are much more dangerous than popped kernels. Unpopped popcorn kernels are a common bronchial foreign body.

Plastic Stickers and Toy Parts

This sticker had been lodged in the esophagus. Similar stickers have become lodged between the vocal cords.

Pins and Needles

An open safety pin lodged in the esophagus is very dangerous. This was common in the days of cloth diapers. Today, thumbtacks are a more common bronchial foreign body; but not as common as headscarf and turban pins, in some Islamic and Sikh countries.

Kinder Surprise Toys

While crawling at home, a 9-month-old girl put something inside her mouth.

Did You Know?!

Choking and suffocation are responsible for almost 40% of unintentional injuries in infants under the age of one in Canada.[Ref:3]