Kids invariably put things in their mouths that they shouldn’t, and sometimes they end up swallowing small objects like coins, marbles, and in modern times, LEGO building blocks. Pediatricians hear stories of children swallowing LEGO pieces quite often, told by panicked parents. The pieces usually pass through the digestive tract intact with little or no trouble. But parents want to know, how long does that take? A new science paper details an experiment to find out.
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Six paediatric health‐care professionals were recruited to swallow a Lego head. Previous gastrointestinal surgery, inability to ingest foreign objects and aversion to searching through faecal matter were all exclusion criteria. Pre‐ingestion bowel habit was standardised by the Stool Hardness and Transit (SHAT) score. Participants ingested a Lego head, and the time taken for the object to be found in the participants stool was recorded. The primary outcome was the Found and Retrieved Time (FART) score.
The conclusion was that the LEGO minifig head took an average of 1.71 days to pass through. The study was intended to be a lighthearted way to reassure parents, even when the process didn’t go quite as planned.
And you searched through your own poo to find them? How?
As with any piece of research it is important to have a robust search strategy in place prior to commencement. A variety of techniques were tried – using a bag and squashing, tongue depressors and gloves, chopsticks – no turd was left unturned. And although we only used a very small sample size the fact that one of our heads went missing suggest that you really shouldn’t worry if you can’t find it.
What happened to the missing head?
Who knows? Perhaps one day many years from now, a gastroenterologist performing a colonoscopy will find it staring back at him.
Read more on the particulars of the study at Don’t Forget the Bubbles. -via Gizmodo
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