This is why a group of doctors made a decision to swallow Lego heads

Henrietta Brewer
November 30, 2018

After the Lego head was swallowed, the next step was to keep track of the subsequent bowel movements and keep looking for the Lego head.

Discovering that your kid has swallowed Lego is pretty annoying as a parent, but these researchers did the same thing in the name of science. "Perhaps one day many years from now, a gastroenterologist performing a colonoscopy will find it staring back at him", they wrote.


Researchers find the amount of time it takes for a Lego head to pass through the body thanks to some fearless volunteers.

It would not have been acceptable to perform the experiment on children, said the doctors, whose findings have been published in the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health. And if so, how long does the journey take? The time it took before the Lego head was retrieved was dubbed as FART or Found and Retrieved Time.


The average Fart score turned out to be 1.7 days, though one of the six heads went missing and never turned up, despite the researcher in question searching his stools for two weeks.

In comic fashion, they ranked the softness of their stool samples on a scale they called the Stool Hardness and Transit (SHAT) scale.


Eating Lego heads and going spelunking in your toilet to find them might seem like a fanciful lark, but it's presumably very useful to parents whose offspring have nommed on the plastic bricks themselves. After swallowing the Lego head, each volunteer had to sift through their own fecal matter to determine if the toy had already passed. "This will reassure parents, and the authors advocate that no parent should be expected to search through their child's feces to prove object retrieval", the authors wrote in the study. The study was extremely small and limited, but, according to Forbes, "does offer some reassurance to parents and anyone who needs a Lego head to complete a body that such a small toy part will be pooped out without complications, typically in 1 to 3 days".

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