Saturday, September 20, 2014
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Home fix dislodges objects stuck in a kid's nose

Beads. Rocks. Cheerios. Toys. Tissues. Curious little kids shove all sorts of objects up their nose -- and really thorough children cram stuff up both nostrils. If there's pain, bleeding or a yucky discharge from the nose in question, call the doctor right away. If you think the objects moved into your child's throat, it's time to go to the emergency room. But if something just seems...stuck...as new British report says trying an at-home expulsion technique called the "mother's kiss" might get it out safely.

Home fix dislodges objects stuck in a kid’s nose

Beads. Rocks. Cheerios. Toys. Tissues. Curious little kids shove all sorts of objects up their nose -- and really thorough children cram stuff up both nostrils. If there’s pain, bleeding or a yucky discharge from the nose in question, call the doctor right away. If you think the objects moved into your child’s throat, it’s time to go to the emergency room. But if something just seems…stuck…as new British report says trying an at-home expulsion technique called the “mother’s kiss” might get it out safely. (AP Photo)
Beads. Rocks. Cheerios. Toys. Tissues. Curious little kids shove all sorts of objects up their nose -- and really thorough children cram stuff up both nostrils. If there’s pain, bleeding or a yucky discharge from the nose in question, call the doctor right away. If you think the objects moved into your child’s throat, it’s time to go to the emergency room. But if something just seems…stuck…as new British report says trying an at-home expulsion technique called the “mother’s kiss” might get it out safely. (AP Photo) AP Photo

Beads. Rocks. Cheerios. Toys. Tissues. Curious little kids shove all sorts of objects up their nose -- and really thorough children cram stuff up both nostrils. If there’s pain, bleeding or a yucky discharge from the nose in question, call the doctor right away. If you think the objects moved into your child’s throat, it’s time to go to the emergency room. But if something just seems…stuck…as new British report says trying an at-home expulsion technique called the “mother’s kiss” might get it out safely.

According to a press release from the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), which published the study the Canadian Medical Journal, “The technique, known since the 1960s but not widely used, can help prevent the need for more invasive measures such as hook or forceps, and suction to remove objects.”

How, exactly, do you do it? The CMA offers this description -- and, good news, you don’t have to be a mom to do it. Just a responsible relative who can follow directions. The how-to: “In the mother's kiss, a child's mother or trusted relative covers the child's mouth with her mouth to form a seal, blocks the clear nostril with her finger then blows into the mouth. The pressure from the breath may then expel the object. The parent explains the technique to the child so that he or she is not frightened.”

The researchers, who looked at eight case studies of people who tried it, found that the mother’s kiss successfully expels foreign objects from kids’ noses about 59% of the time. It may take several tries, they add.

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But this isn’t the only way to get Monopoly game pieces, Barbie shoesor peas out of your kid’s nostrils. Other experts suggest that if you can see the object, you can try to gently grab it and pull it out with flat --not pointy -- tweezers. You can also show your little kid (this happens most often in kids ages 1 to 8) how to blow out, then ask him or her to mimic you.

If none of these work, give up and call the doctor. Don’t risk pushing whatever it is further up -- it’ll only become more stuck. Or it could even drop back into your child’s throat.  Most of the time, you can wait til morning to call the doctor. But, experts recommend calling 9-1-1 or taking a ride to the emergency room in these circumstances:

  • If the foreign body has been inhaled into your child’s throat and he or she is choking, call 911 immediately.
  • If the object falls back into the throat and is swallowed, it’s worth a trip to the emergency room. A few of these objects can become lodged in the esophagus. If this occurs, the object will need to be either pushed down into the stomach or pulled out.
  • If your child has pushed a button battery into his or her nose, get emergency help. Batteries can decompose enough in the body to allow the chemicals to leak out and cause burns.
  • If the offending object is a dried bean, you may also need to make a trip to the ER. The bean can swell as it takes in moisture from your kid’s nose…causing more and more discomfort as it becomes bigger and bigger.
About this blog
The Healthy Kids blog is your window into the latest news, research and advice around children's health. Learn more about our growing list of contributors here.

If you have questions about your child's health, ask them here.

Anna Nguyen Healthy Kids blog Editor
Stephen Aronoff, M.D., M.B.A. Temple University Hospital
Peter Bidey, D.O. Medical Director of Family Medicine at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Christopher C. Chang, M.D., Ph.D Jefferson Medical College
Mario Cruz, M.D. St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Drexel University College of Medicine
Katherine K. Dahlsgaard, Ph.D. Lead Psychologist - The Anxiety Behaviors Clinic, CHOP
Gary A. Emmett, M.D. Director of Hospital Pediatrics at TJU Hospital & Pediatrics Professor at Thomas Jefferson Univ.
Lauren Falini Bariatric exercise physiologist, Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
Hazel Guinto-Ocampo, M.D. Nemours duPont Pediatrics/Bryn Mawr Hospital
Rima Himelstein, M.D. Crozer-Keystone Health System
Jessica Kendorski, PhD, NCSP, BCBA-D Associate Professor in School Psychology/Applied Behavior Analysis at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Anita Kulick President & CEO, Educating Communities for Parenting
Janet Rosenzweig, MS, PhD, MPA VP for Programs & Research for Prevent Child Abuse America
Beth Wallace Smith, R.D. Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
W. Douglas Tynan, Ph.D. Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Jefferson Medical Colg
Flaura Koplin Winston, M.D., Ph.D Scientific Director of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Center for Injury Research and Prevention
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