My youngest is very accident prone. As a matter of fact, he's so accident prone that he broke both arms before he was two and a half. That's one of the reasons I call him Monkey Boy.
We were at Animal Control one day when he was six, visiting a puppy we were thinking about adopting. When we came out into the lobby, he had a guilty look on his face. I asked him what he had in his mouth, and he just stuck out his tongue at me -- and there was a shiny quarter. I told him "put it in your pocket, or it's mine." He did.
Half an hour later, we were at Jiffy Lube, near our house, dropping off oil to be recycled. Hubby went in with the oil, and suddenly, I hear a gawdawful noise from the back end of the van. DD was sitting behind me, and I couldn't see DS. I ask, "what in the world is wrong with him" and dd just looks at me with her huge blue eyes and starts bawling. I jumped out and ran to the other door, yanked it open and see ds, hanging onto his neck for dear life, choking out the words "I swallowed a quarter."
Hubby came out, and we raced to the ER, which was only a mile or so away. Mind you -- we had our 75 lb dog with us, so I dropped the hubby and ds off at the ER door, then drove a few blocks to our house. By then, dd was hyperventilating, so I rushed the dog into the house and got her a paper bag to breathe into. We walked into the ER with her gasping into the bag, so of course they thought SHE was going to be the patient. "No, no, no," I said, "She's fine, but you're gonna have to let her see her brother, cause she thinks he's dead." Turns out, she gave him the quarter, so she thought, in her then ten year old wisdom, that she had killed him.
Ended up that ds vomited every ten seconds or so until they could get him to surgery -- three hours later. The constant retching was interspersed with ds saying "I don't have any sense." BLCHHHH "I should've listened to you." BLCHHH.
"Well baby, you have 25 cents," we said.
The doctor asked "are you sure it's a quarter, cause we take bets on this stuff, and this doesn't look like a quarter." Sure enough, he walked out of surgery afterwards, jingling a specimen cup that held a shiny 1994 quarter -- the year of ds's birth.
It is now in my bottom drawer, along with the hospital bills associated with it. I call it the $3000 quarter.
Moral of the story: usually swallowed objects will pass, if they are smaller than a quarter. Six to ten year olds are the ones most likely to choke on stuff, we were told, not toddlers. And believe me, if it gets stuck, you will know it IMMEDIATELY.