This is How Long It Takes to Poop Out a Lego

Doctors actually swallowed figurine heads for the study.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

As hard as we try to keep toys out of kids’ mouths and food out of their noses, we know all it takes is one second of looking the other way for a toddler to consume Lego Batman’s cape (yum!). And once we’re assured the kid isn’t choking, the next question that comes to mind is: How long will it take for that sucker to come out?

Well! Turns out, a group of doctors volunteered to experiment on themselves to figure out this very question. CNET reports that professionals from the medical blog Don’t Forget the Bubbles knew there was plenty of data about swallowing coins, the foreign object most commonly swallowed by children, which take about two weeks to pass. But research about how long it takes a plastic toy piece to make its way through the body is scarce. So they recruited test subjects with no history of intestinal surgery to swallow the plastic head of a Lego figurine — then, yes, they examined their poo to see how long it took until the decapitated Lego head came out.

All in a day’s work.

We’re all moms, so there’s no such thing as TMI when it comes to poop, right? Okay, then, here goes: after swallowing the Lego head, each participant analyzed their own poop to find the object. According to the blog, “[a] variety of techniques were tried – using a bag and squashing, tongue depressors and gloves, chopsticks – no turd was left unturned.”

A pretty, um, crappy job.

For most of the participants, it took an average of 1.71 days for the Lego heads to travel through the digestive tract. And for one unfortunate subject, the Lego head NEVER REAPPEARED.

“Perhaps one day many years from now, a gastroenterologist performing a colonoscopy will find it staring back at him,” the team, whose humor we appreciate, writes on their blog.

The good news is that the toy object seemed to pass through with no complications — for adults, at least. But as they caution on their blog, the study was really just in good fun and does not apply to children who swallow parts of toys.

Not that chugging — or stepping on — Legos is ever recommended for adults, either.


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