The funny story this week came from a delightful 5 year-old during her routine well-child check. While examining her, I discovered a bright green foreign object lodged high up in her nose.
Dr. Wonnacott: “What’s that up your nose?”
5 year-old: Gives a quizzical look as if to say “Nose? What nose?”
After failed attempts to blow out the object, I finally reached in with a forceps and pulled it out. It was a large, green, craft pom-pom. I held the object in the forceps up right in front of her, so she could see.
Dad: “Why did you put that up your nose?”
5 year-old: “I didn’t do it.”
Dad: “Oh, really?”
5 year-old: (Firmly now) “NO, I didn’t do it.”
So if anyone happens to have any leads on who could have possibly stuck a craft pom-pom up this child’s nose, it would be greatly appreciated. Because it seems to be a BIG mystery.
Most small children go through a phase of shoving stuff up their noses. In my career, I’ve pulled everything from beans to beads out of noses. While it makes my day a little more entertaining to see what sorts of things we can add to the list, most parents find the whole experience super frustrating. No one has extra time and money to “waste” at the doctor’s office. My secret tip is going to save you the trip. When done properly, I’ve yet to have a failure.
Here are the steps to getting something out of your child’s nose. As an example, let’s pretend your child shoved a pea up his right nostril.
- Lay your child on his back on the floor.
- Identify which nostril the foreign object is in. In our example, the right side.
- Kneel to the side of your child’s head on the clear side (opposite the foreign object). In our example, the left side.
- Use one hand to hold your child’s head against the floor.
- Use the other hand (the index finger specifically) to push closed the clear nostril. In our example the left side.
- Bend over your child (imagine a position like you were going to give rescue breaths in CPR) and make a perfect seal with your mouth over your child’s mouth.
- Give a quick, forceful blow of air into your child’s mouth (about as hard as you have to blow to start blowing up a balloon). When you close the good/open side of the nose, the air will be forced to go out the side with the foreign object. The force of the air will push the object out of the nose and onto the side of your face.
- Congratulations, you’ve done it. Your brilliance saved the day! It’s gross, but it works.
If you just can’t wrap your head around a modified mouth-to-mouth maneuver, or the object is somehow sharp/dangerous, then feel free to take your child into the pediatrician’s office. We have all sorts of little tools to help get things out of noses.
Good luck! You can do it!