Enlarge / The horror: It took between 1.14 days to 3.04 days for the swallowed LEGO heads to return to…
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Here are some great news for troubled parents whose little children have taken a LEGO two). A new study of pediatric researchers has concluded that the toy should resume in its poo within a few days. They know this because their test subjects volunteered the LEGO figure heads and monitored how long it took to pick them up.
Yes, this is an actual scientific paper, published in the reputable Journal of Pediatrics and Child Health entitled “Everything is amazing: Do not forget the LEGOs”. It is of the same group of pediatricians behind the popular blog Do not forget the bubbles. “We have finally responded to the burning question: how long does it take for a connected LEGO head to pass?” DFTB co-founder and paper co-author Tessa Davis tweeted . “This is a commitment for pediatricians. But it was worth it to deepen science and pediatric emergency care.”
We’re joking, but it’s really about a valid question. As Bruce Y. Lee, professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg’s School of Public Health pointed out at Forbes loves small children to swallow things, especially coins. There have been previous studies that examined how the coin passed through the digestive tract, especially a 1971 document that found that most coins passed harmless within three to six days.
But nobody had looked carefully at the second most common cooled object: small toy parts. And the LEGO figure heads are especially tempting for the gastronomically curious toddlers.
T. Davis et al. / Do not forget the bubbles
How would you even find six adults (three men and three women) willing to swallow LEGO parts? Davis et al . recruited their subjects from the online group of children’s hospital staff. They screened everyone with previous gastrointestinal surgery, problems swallowing objects, or “aversion to search through fecal matter”.
Each subject held a “fecal diary” and recorded intestinal movements before and after cooling of the LEGO heads. They evaluated the frequency and solubility of their pallet, based on the hardness and transit (SHAT) points of the research group. (Who says that pediatrician does not feel like humor?) After swallowing the toy, they spent the next three days through their own poo to determine when the LEGO head returned. The number of days taken to download and retrieve it was called the FART (Found and Retrieved Time).
A poor abrasion never retrieved the LEGO head at all.
Five of the six subjects had FART points from 1.14 days to 3.04 days, on average 1.71 days (approximately 41 hours). And a poor abrasion never caught the LEGO head at all. We now know the subject is paper coauthor and pediatric consultant Damien Roland, who told CBC he continued to search his own poo for two weeks and hoped that the toy part would regain no use . Maybe a little more roughage in the diet would help?
As Lee points out, this is a small study focusing on adults rather than toddlers. SHAT and FART points may vary in the general population. It was also not a blind study, because the authors thought it would be just asking too much of the study participants’ colleagues or colleagues to aim through poo on their behalf. And other small toys of different shapes can take shorter or longer times to pass through the body.
“A toy object passes quickly through adult subjects without complications,” concludes the authors and adds an important attorney: “Parents should be advised not to look for the object of stool because it is difficult to find.” But maybe not swallowing these LEGO figurehead in the first place, m & kay?
DOI: Journal of Pediatrics and Child Health 2018. 10.1111 / jpc.14309 (About DOIs).