Interesting facts from literature: What can happen to children, a collection of unusual injuries and poisonings

It seems that summer and the beautiful, warm weather are truly over, and with that, also the season when children are most excited about outdoor play, trips and adventures. But at the same time, it was also a time when they can get into dangerous situations that end in injury or poisoning. In the article you will find several examples of less common accidents that, fortunately, sometimes may be just more interesting than serious.

  1. Snake bite

Although snakebite cases are rare, we must not forget them. Parents brought a fourteen-month-old boy to the emergency room who had been playing on a blanket in the backyard and had been left unattended for a while. When the mother heard his cry, she ran out of the house and saw a 20-centimeter snake crawling a short distance away, and the boy had a small injury on the index finger of his right hand. Although emergency room doctors were skeptical about the possibility of a snake bite, the further development of the injury confirmed the parents’ fears. A hemorrhagic bulla and swelling quickly formed around the injury. The hematomas progressed to the arm, neck and chest. Sustained tachycardia was also present. The injury was consulted with the Toxicology Center of VFN Prague, which recommended administering sheep antiserum. After administration of the antiserum, the patient’s condition improved. Apparently, it really was a bite by a young viper (Vipera berus).

  1. Pay attention to where what grows

The nine-year-old boy spent hot summer days at his grandparents’, where he swam in the pool with other children and ran around the garden. In the evening, a pronounced rash appeared on his body – on his arms, shoulders, sides and stomach – reminiscent of second-degree burns or jellyfish stings. The working diagnosis was toxoallergic bullous dermatitis. During the search for the cause, the botanist identified a bush of white mullein (Dictamnus albus) in the garden, which on hot days produces a lot of essential oils causing photosensitization of the skin with subsequent sunburns. Skin healing was very slow. Numerous depigmented scars with a pigment border remained on the boy’s body even after 4 months.

  1. Dangerous zipper

A nine-year-old boy managed to pinch his foreskin in a metal zipper while fastening his pants. Neither he nor his mother were able to open the zipper and release the foreskin. Even the doctors at the surgical clinic in the place of residence could not deal with the stuck zipper. At a higher workplace, the on-call urologist decided on a solution under general anesthesia. Fortunately, there was no need for surgery, the zipper was finally released under anesthesia. The patient left with only a small hematoma and slightly bruised tissue.

  1. Pins and needles

A seven-year-old boy inserted a pin about 2 cm long into his genitals, head first. He only alerted his parents to this when blood appeared at the mouth of his urethra. The frightened parents took the boy for treatment. The latter was surprisingly calm, giving only a faint tingling sensation when walking. Based on the examination and X-ray findings, a consultation with a urologist was ordered. However, immediately the boy spontaneously urinated himself and at the same time the pin left with the clear urine…

A mother brought her 20-month-old boy to the ambulance because he suddenly started coughing. At the same time, the mother said that she was missing two acupuncture needles (as a fan of alternative methods, she regularly sticks them in her earlobes herself). A scan of the boy’s chest showed missing pins. They were lodged in the boy’s esophagus. Their endoscopic extraction was successful.

  1. Foreign bodies

Children (most often aged 0-4 years) are able to swallow anything. The most common are coins, toys, magnets or batteries. But jewelry (ring, earrings, pendant), hair clip, metal lighter top, button, pen spring, interdental brush were also found. Organic foreign bodies – pieces of fruit, nuts and meat – are observed less often. A stuck leg of an insect was also found (unfortunately, the author does not provide details). In comparison, coins (50-60%) and fish and chicken bones predominate among swallowed objects in America and Europe.

  1. Superglue

A four-year-old boy squeezed an entire tube of instant glue into his mouth. In addition to gluing the lips, a tight-fitting detailed cast of the entire oral cavity from the vestibule to the soft palate was created. The gradual removal of the hardened glue was laborious and tedious, especially from the interdental spaces.

  1. Car crash

On a hot August day, the driver left a bottle of carbonated drink in the car. During the trip, when she was carrying four children, one of them got thirsty. A violent explosion of the bottle cap occurred during handling of the bottle. The sound effect and the geyser disorientated the driver so that she lost control of the vehicle, went off the road and hit a tree head-on. Fortunately, the consequences of the accident were mild.

  1. School and kindergarten experiences

During class, an 18-year-old student felt she needed to „kick up and speed up”. However, she chose clonazepam drops for this purpose. After drinking the bottle, she fell into a coma and had to be taken to the hospital as she could not be woken up.

During physical education class, a 16-year-old obese girl caused a double fracture of her orbit and a contusion of her eyeball with her knee when she tried to roll .

A 15-year-old boy was admitted for gross hematuria with renal contusion after being hit in the side with a head of cabbage on a farm work.

A five-year-old boy was playing in the children’s corner of the ski resort during a break in ski training and drank from a „mineral” bottle on a table. He immediately spat out the liquid for the taste. It wasn’t mineral water, it was diesel!

The parents equipped a five-year-old girl for a short kindergarten trip by city bus with an entire package of kinedryl (10 tablets), which she selflessly shared with her friend. Both suffered a slight intoxication.

A seventeen-year-old boy was celebrating his return from the diagnostic institute with his friends. After the dispute and subsequent fight, he was admitted for numerous facial contusions and hemoperitoneum, caused by an extensive triple rupture of the spleen, the extent of which necessitated a splenectomy.

  1. Looks matter

A 14-year-old boy fell on his left forearm while riding a skateboard. The sight of the angular deformity of the forearm shocked him more than the pain. On the spot, he repositioned the forearm himself into the proper position and only then sought medical treatment.

Author: RNDr. Soňa Procházková, Ph.D.

  1. Grym J, Floderová M, Halašková V, et al. Méně obvyklé úrazy a otravy u dětí – kazuistiky. Vox pediatriae. 2022; 22(5):30-5.
  2. Šebová I, Čverha M, Homolová M, et al. Cudzie telesá v pižeiáku u detí. Lekársky obzor, 2022; 71(4):158-62.