Here's How Long It Takes to Retrieve a Swallowed Lego

Lego experiment

The common issue among parents propelled a group of six researchers to conduct a study to see how long it would take when someone accidentally ingested a Lego item.

Their results have been published in the Christmas edition of the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health. But, no, even the researchers themselves aren't taking it too seriously, calling it "a bit of fun in the run up to Xmas" in a related blog post. The amount of time it took to travel from mouth to toilet was also aptly titled - the Found and Retrieved Time (aka the FART) score. It's all about the acronyms.

And yes, there's video of the researchers swallowing the Lego.

"If an experienced clinician with a PhD is unable to adequately find objects in their own stool, it seems clear that we should not be expecting parents to do so - the authors feel that national guidance could include this advice".

Prior to swallowing the heads, researchers were required to keep track of the quality of their poop, measured as Stool Hardness and Transit (SHAT).

They did add that because of the small sample size, it's probably still best not to let your kids know it's harmless to swallow Lego heads.

There was some evidence females may be more accomplished at searching through their stools than males but this could not be statistically validated. "I passed it on the first stool afterwards and was very relieved", she said.

"But for poor (researcher Damien Roland), he didn't find his, so we made him search every stool for two weeks".

Though she hopes the study will make people smile, Leo told the Guardian that parents still need to seek medical attention if their children swallow anything "sharp, longer than 5cm, wider than 2.5cm, magnets, coins, button batteries or are experiencing pain". "That should save parents some heartache, unless that Lego head is dearly loved".



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