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What to do (and what not to do) if our child puts an object in his nose


Young children are naturally restless and curious, and since they don't see danger in many of the things they do, constant supervision is critical to keep them from taking any risks. But they are also fast, a lot! And in the blink of an eye they can do something that compromises your health or even endangers life, with hardly any time to react.

One of the most common incidents in young children is the aspiration or introduction of foreign bodies into the nostrils. Although this episode can cause us great anguish and nervousness, it is important to know how to act so as not to make the situation worse.
We explain what you should do, and what not, if your child puts an object in the nose.

1 What objects do children put in their noses?


Almost any small object can end up inside the nostrils of a child because they accidentally breathe it in when trying to smell it, because they choke while eating and the piece of food is diverted towards the nose, or because the child introduces it while playing or out of curiosity.

The objects that children can get into the nose are diverse, although according to pediatricians, the ones that are most frequently observed in the emergency room are:

  • School supplies such as pieces of plasticine or clay, eraser fragments, pieces of paper ...


  • Everyday objects such as pieces of sponge, vegetables, stones, button batteries, small magnets, cotton ...
  • Food such as nuts or seeds, or small vegetables (the leaf of a plant, a flower ...)


  • Toys or objects related to the game, such as Lego pieces, marbles, magnetized pieces, game pieces ...



OF ALL THESE OBJECTS, VEGETABLES AND BUTTON BATTERIES ARE THE ONES THAT REQUIRE THE MOST IMMEDIATE AND EFFICIENT EXTRACTION POSSIBLE, SINCE THE FORMER INCREASE IN SIZE WITH HUMIDITY AND BATTERIES CAUSE EARLY TISSUE DESTRUCTION.

In general, when the child introduces an object into the nose, it is usually located on the floor of the nostril, that is, in the lower part. The objects located in the upper part or nasal roof are usually due to a failed extraction attempt that ends up pushing them to another place.

Symptoms


The main problem that the child may encounter, something enters the nostrils, is that - unless we have witnessed the incident or the child himself tells us what has happened - on many occasions there are no symptoms, especially if it is about a very small object, rounded or without edges.

If, on the other hand, it is a large object, with edges and an irregular shape, the symptoms usually appear immediately in the form of:

  • Difficulty breathing properly through one of the nostrils
  • Irritation, stinging, itching, and pain in the nose
  • Repeated sneezing
  • Bloody discharge
  • Nasal bleeding
  • Irritability and crying in babies and young children who still cannot express what is happening to them

In the case of small, rounded objects that do not cause immediate damage, symptoms usually appear long after the incident has occurred, in the form of:

  • Foul smell in one of the nostrils or a foul-smelling nasal discharge
  • Frequent bleeding from the same side of the nose
  • Over the years, the object could end up destroying the nasal mucosa or calcifying, forming a rhinolith.


1 What should we do if our child puts an object in his nose


If we witness the moment in which the child puts an object in his nose or tells us what he has done, the first thing to do is to remain calm, because a hasty and nervous action on our part could make the situation worse.

Without frightening you, we will ask the child to breathe through the mouth and not take deep breaths through the nose, in order to avoid that the object goes further inside. Next, we will tell him to blow his nose while gently pressing the hole that has not been affected with our finger.

In general, this system is usually sufficient to expel the foreign body from the nostril, but if it does not work, we must go to the hospital emergency department to proceed with the extraction with the appropriate instruments.

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