back to article Doctors join wombats in sh!tting bricks to help parents relax about kids chowing down on Lego

Just a week ago we applauded efforts of boffins who figured out how wombats pinch off delightful little Oxo cube poos. Now it seems our squishy marsupial pals are in the esteemed company of the medical community, members of which have been wilfully gobbling (and passing) Lego pieces. Why? Well, let's be charitable and describe …

  1. #define INFINITY -1 Bronze badge

    If I had swallowed one...

    This article would've gotten it out.

    I _did_ convince a friend (no children involved) to swallow a R50 note (about 2 pounds at that time)... and he subsequently retrieved it, and snapped it (after cleaning).

  2. Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

    So if I'm asked to participate...

    ...can I legitimately say "no, I don't give a s#!t and keep my job?"

  3. chivo243 Silver badge

    For once

    I'm glad there are no pictures, I'll take your word it happened!

  4. Robin 3
    IT Angle

    Pedantry Corner

    Or perhaps that's all of the reg. anyway.

    > Did they try to swallow a standard, four-nodule brick? Did they f*%k

    I suspect you are thinking of the standard four by two, thus eight nodule brick. The four nodule brick is two by two nodules, and given it height to width ratio, a reasonably comfortable object to pass. The four by eight is an altogether less gut friendly proposition...

    1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge

      Re: Pedantry Corner

      I interpreted it as a 4x1 brick, which could end up sideways in the gut...

      1. lee harvey osmond

        Re: Pedantry Corner

        Should have been a 2x2.

        Although, "standard, four-nodule brick" ... no the default reference brick ought to be four studs by two, in red.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Pedantry Corner

      given it height to width ratio, a reasonably comfortable object to pass

      Apart from the sharp(ish) edges and corners of course. Makes me wince just thinking about it..

  5. Sam Therapy

    Those who think standing on a Lego brick barefoot is painful have obviously never stood on a UK mains plug.

    As for eating weird stuff, my daughter has pica, and has eaten all kinds of things including chalk, wax crayons, play sand and paper towels. She didn't much like the play sand coming out the other end.

    1. Vulch

      ...Or a 16 pin DIL TTL chip which has the ability to become more firmly attached to the underside of your foot for several steps.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Timing, as they say ...

        The venerable 555 has a habit of landing pins-up just exactly where my heel is going to come down. I've stepped on 6 of the damn things over the years ... all drew blood, two of them left bits behind in the bone, requiring removal by a surgeon. No other IC has ever assaulted me, just the 555. Is it paranoia when they really are out to get me?

        1. DJV Silver badge

          @jake re: 555

          Youch! You must have been having the time(r) of your life!

    2. FozzyBear Silver badge

      or for those that play DnD , they know there is no pain like stepping on a D4

      1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

        no pain like stepping on a D4

        I have only one word for you, man: caltrops.

      2. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Real men have survived having a 40-pin processor chip embedded in their knee...

        1. jake Silver badge

          Cotter pins (split pins to you Brits) are also knee magnets ... especially the ones that hold outboard motor props on.

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Cotter pins (split pins to you Brits)

            What we call cotter pins are the sort of tapered-with-a-nut-on-the-end solid pin that old pushbikes used to use to hold the pedal crank onto the driveshaft.

            The pin that you used to tighten when there was slop or play in the pedals.. until one day you pulled it entirely through the pedal crank and had to replace it..

            I suspect they do things slightly differently nowadays - I haven't ridden a pushbike since 1982 (when I was old enough to ride a motorbike).

        2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          40-pin processor chip embedded in their knee..

          I too have knelt on a 486 (a 486dx25 to be precise). It came of an old PC and was in a tin box with other chip effluvia.

          I managed to knock the tin off the bench and, in kneeling down to pick it up, with unerring precision knelt on the upside-down chip. Whilst wearing shorts.

          It hurt. A lot. And didn't do much for the pins on the chip either.

    3. jake Silver badge

      Question for Sam Therapy

      ... Did your family doctor resist the chance to say "This too shall pass" the second or third time you brought your daughter in? Mine didn't. I found it funny, and made the mistake of laughing ... her mom threatened to strangle me.

      (My daughter grew out of it before age four. Hopefully yours will, too. The grand-daughter showed no intention of following in her mother's footsteps, thankfully.)

    4. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      play sand

      As the owner of multiple cats, I'd never let any kids of mine (if we had any) go anywhere near that stuff unless it's fresh out of the bag 10 minutes before playtime..

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > She didn't much like the play sand coming out the other end.

      One wonders where mixing play sand with Carolina Reaper peppers and consuming it would rank on the pain scale.

      1. jake Silver badge

        We grow and eat reapers (and scorpions, etc.) here at Chez jake. None of us reports arse-burn as a result. I rather suspect it's not the peppers, rather it's badly prepared food combined with too much fat that's causing the problem.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "[...] for small foreign bodies, [...]"

    The exception is coin cell batteries - which are very dangerous if swallowed. The voltage sets up an electrolysis process if it stays in contact with the gut wall. This will destroy the tissue and lead to serious consequences.

    A doctor said he once ignored a pill's "take with water" instruction. It lodged in his gullet and he needed treatment for the tissue damage a chemical reaction caused.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge


      ignored a pill's "take with water" instruction

      *Very* highly recommended with asprin (or take with milk for extra buffering). Even though acetyl salicylic acid is a weak acid, it's still an acid. And if it lodges somewhere without a good mucus coat, you *will* get burnt.

  7. S4qFBxkFFg

    They'll probably get the heads replaced by Lego (if they hear about it); any time I've had a set missing a piece (even when I told them it was second hand) they quickly sent a replacement free of charge.

    (Compare with the hoops we have to jump through to RMA a bit of electronics.)

  8. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "unless that Lego head is dearly loved"

    If that Lego head is so dearly loved, go and buy another copy of the figurine !

  9. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    But it is a prerequisite

    The dangers of Lego are well documented. Everyone knows that treading on one of the buggers barefoot hurts more than childbirth.

    It is a prerequisite before you decide to have a family:

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Playmobil re-creation?

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      Re: Obligatory

      ...or if you can't, at least go through the motions?

  11. David 132 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Award-winning research right here.

    And by "Award", I'm thinking the IgNobel. Should be a shoo-in for 2019.

    1. Solo Owl

      Re: Award-winning research right here.

      But it is so obviously written with an Ignobel in mind, it should be ejected.

  12. Borg.King

    What a crap article

    Well done.

  13. SVV Silver badge

    Build a Lego recreation of the research someone please

    They might even sell it as a kit : Lego Shitheads.

  14. The Nazz Silver badge

    And for the brave or sheer foolish ....


    1. David 132 Silver badge

      Re: And for the brave or sheer foolish ....

      Pffft, get out of here with your Duplo pabulum. Real men swallow Sticklebricks or Meccano.

  15. jake Silver badge

    Sic transit gloria mundi

    Well, somebody had to say it.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Sic transit gloria mundi

      Somebody also has to mention Brixit. These are the new rules of the internet forums.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Sic transit gloria mundi

        I think that's "brix shit" in this case ...

  16. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge


    Aren't children's gastro-intestinal tracts smaller than adults?

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: Er,

      Yes, but not by enough to matter THAT much when passing something like a Lego figure head. (And generally, if they can swallow it whole, it'll pass through)

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My sister swallowed a car door* as a toddler. That "came out" by itself without medical intervention.

    *Dinky estate car - hatchback door

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      AC My sister swallowed a car door* as a toddler.

      Was she prescribed a Corsa laxatives?

  18. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge

    "...searching through faecal matter.."

    "...tongue in cheek"

    Two phrases I never want to see in close proximity again...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      One of the joys of getting old is the NHS home DIY screening programme for bowel cancer. Gives a new meaning to Pooh Sticks (made of cardboard).

      The light at the end of the tunnel is that they don't bother testing people beyond their mid-70s. Either they assume by then you are pretty resilient - or something else will kill you first.

  19. lee harvey osmond


    All those acronyms, and they never got as far as Studs Not On Top?

  20. TRT Silver badge

    Parents don't need to search the stools...

    Well not unless they are concerned about flushing plastics into the environment they don't.

    Anyway... they need to repeat this with the new biodegradable Lego pieces.

    1. Joefish

      Re: Parents don't need to search the stools...

      Those new plant bits aren't bio-degradable; they're just made from polymers derived from plants instead of oil. They're just as stable as any other plastic.

      So no, stay green, and remember to always fish out your kids' plastic pollution prior to pulling the chain. Won't somebody think of the turtles?

      ('No Shit' icon seems appropriate...)

      1. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge

        Re: Won't somebody think of the turtles?

        Are you certain Tortoise head isn't more appropriate?

  21. Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

    Pity the poor pill cam

    The Chairman was having some internal faults that endocscopy and colonoscopy could not isolate. So after another day of fasting and, er, flushing my buffers I found myself ingesting a small camera bot with a wireless backhaul. Its a tough pill to swallow. Literally.

    Post scan ... it was a tough day for other reasons, and I was feeling a little low. Thoughts of "how can life get worse?" started going through me head.

    Alas, upon arising from the Seat of Contemplation, I saw staring at me from the bowl my faithful little robot, its little LED light glowing fitfully. And I thought to myself, "No matter how bad my day has gone, that little robot REALLY had a s#!tty day. No worries."

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