Doctors have removed a toothpick from the abdominal wall of a two-year-old girl who pierced her belly with it while her parents napped at home.
The child was reportedly playing with a toothpick on her bed at her home in the city of Changsha, in the south-central Chinese province of Hunan.
Her mother was awoken by the toddler's cries and rushed to the child, thinking she might have fallen over. She then noticed part of a toothpick sticking out of her daughter's stomach.
Afraid to pull it out and potentially cause further injury, she called emergency services and the toddler was taken to hospital where she underwent emergency laparoscopic surgery.
Doctors managed to remove the 4.5-centimetre toothpick from the toddler's abdominal wall during the hour-long operation and she escaped with minor bruising.
They revealed the youngster was lucky the thin stick of wood had not pierced her small intestine or a large blood vessel as the consequences could have been worse.
Paediatric surgeon Yan Dayi reminded people that children were naturally curious and did not have a good sense of safety.
He advised parents to keep dangerous items out of their children's reach and revealed the girl's parents took the correct form of action in not trying to remove the toothpick themselves.
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