Short Answer: If you accidentally swallow a bottle cap, it can get stuck in your throat or stomach and cause damage to the tissue or block your airway.
A bottle cap is a small, round piece of plastic or metal that is used to seal a bottle.
It usually has a screw thread or a snap-on mechanism to attach to the bottleneck.
Bottle caps are toxic and have phthalates in liners that are used to seal a bottle.
If you accidentally swallow a bottle cap, it can be very dangerous.
It can get stuck in your esophagus or your stomach and cause damage to the tissue.
It can also enter your trachea and block your airway, making it hard to breathe.
Swallowing a bottle cap can cause symptoms such as coughing, gagging, wheezing, trouble speaking, difficulty swallowing, vomiting, drooling, and stomach pain.
This is because it contains plastic or metal, which are not digestible by your body.
Plastic or metal can cut or scrape the lining of your esophagus or stomach, causing bleeding or infection.
They can also interfere with the normal movement of food and waste through your gut, causing obstruction or perforation.
Plastic or metal can have negative effects on your health.
Plastic can leach harmful chemicals into your body, such as phthalates, which are endocrine disruptors that can affect your hormones and reproductive system.
Metal can react with the acid in your stomach and release toxic gases, such as hydrogen sulfide, which can cause nausea, vomiting, headache, and even death².
However, it is quite uncommon to swallow a bottle cap due to its size and shape.
Most people would spit it out or cough it up if they accidentally put it in their mouth.
However, some people may swallow a bottle cap intentionally as a prank or a challenge, or unintentionally if they are distracted or have a medical condition that affects their swallowing reflex.
You should seek medical attention immediately if you swallow a bottle cap.
Do not try to induce vomiting or remove it yourself, as this may cause more damage or push it further down your throat.
A doctor may perform an X-ray or an endoscopy to locate the bottle cap and remove it safely using special tools.
You may also need antibiotics or surgery if there is any infection or perforation in your gut.
To avoid accidental swallowing of a bottle cap, you should always keep them away from your mouth and dispose of them properly after opening a bottle.
You should also supervise young children who may be curious about them and prevent them from playing with them.
You should never swallow a bottle cap on purpose, as it is not worth the risk of serious harm.
Finally, remember, a bottle cap is not food and should never be swallowed. It can cause life-threatening complications and require emergency treatment.
Always be careful with what you put in your mouth and seek help if you swallow something that is not meant to be eaten.