If you swallow a piece of LEGO, here’s when it’ll poop out the other end

Posted in Family Health.

In the study we didn’t know we needed, scientists tracked the progress of LEGO through the digestive system and now know how long it will take to pop out the other end. YEOWCH. 

Transit times

Honestly, some people are doing God’s work and these good-humoured scientists are among them.

What was the aim of this very important study published in the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health?

“In this study, we aimed to determine typical transit times for [a] commonly swallowed object: a Lego figurine head,” the team behind it said.

Have a nice trip

“Six paediatric health‐care professionals were recruited to swallow a Lego head,” the team explained.

These six were chosen wisely with “previous gastrointestinal surgery, inability to ingest foreign objects and aversion to searching through faecal matter” all exclusion criteria. The researchers were also careful to take into account their subjects’ existing Number Two habits.

“Pre‐ingestion bowel habit was standardised by the Stool Hardness and Transit (SHAT) score.” Yes. That does say SHAT score. Uh-huh.

FART score = 1.71 days

The chosen six then ate a LEGO figure’s head and the team recorded the time it took to locate the LEGO in their poop. This metric was called the “Found and Retrieved Time (FART) score.” Yes. That does say FART score. Uh-huh.

So how long did the LEGO head take to navigate from mouth to toilet bowl? You might be wondering. That’d be round about 1.71 days.

“The FART score averaged 1.71 days,” the team said, noting some gender variations may also be at play. “There was some evidence that females may be more accomplished at searching through their stools than males, but this could not be statistically validated.” #PoopBosses

No need for poop searches?

Finally, the authors concluded that swallowed LEGO should pass through a child’s system within a day or two without incident.

“A toy object quickly passes through adult subjects with no complications. This will reassure parents, and the authors advocate that no parent should be expected to search through their child’s faeces to prove object retrieval.”


People loved this study so much, and suggested it may be the most important finding of the year.

“Calling Nobel Prize … I think we’ve got a winner …” one posted on Twitter.

“Congratulations on a really crappy study,” another wrote.

“This is evidence-based practice as good as it gets,” someone else summed up.

You can read more detailed data on this study at Forbes. #Snort


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