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The natural curiosity of children leads them to ingest many types of objects other than food. Inevitably,some of these objects become lodged in the esophagus, and the pediatrician then is faced with the challenge of determining how to remove such a foreign body.

Thousands of children in the United States present with foreign bodies lodged in the esophagus each year. Most of these children are 4 years of age and younger, and boys comprise a slight majority. Children who have a lodged esophageal foreign body usually present for care between the hours of noon and midnight and usually within 6 hours of the foreign body ingestion. By far, coins are the foreign bodies detected most commonly. Other reported objects include but are not limited to those listed in Table 1. 

The most frequent presenting symptoms are dysphagia, drooling,retching, and vomiting. However,...

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