Pebbles. Dried peas. Raisins. Wads of tissues. LEGO! There seems to be no end to what can get stuck in the nose of your curious little critter – ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY’RE BORED AT HOME FOR SCHOOL HOLIDAYS! Believe it or not, your tot doesn’t put things in his nose to annoy you. Sometimes inserting small things in his nostrils is a mindless behavioUr (like hair twirling or nose picking).
Charlene van Tonder gives us some tips how to treat your tot when something’s stuck in the nose:
• Withdraw the piece of food, toy, or whatever’s stuck in there with flat (not sharp) tweezers — but only if you can see it.
• If your toddler knows how to blow his nose, ask him to blow while you press on the unaffected nostril — this may dislodge the object. Sneezing has the same effect, but it’s hard to produce a sneeze on command.
• Whatever you do, don’t try to stick your finger, a cotton swab, or anything else up the nasal passage in order to remove the object. You risk pushing it deeper into your child’s nose or even down his throat and into his lung.
When to call the doctor:
• If you can’t see or remove the piece of food or toy yourself.
• If your tot’s nose doesn’t stop discharging gunk or blood even after you’ve removed whatever was stuck there. (Or if a nosebleed lasts more than 15 to 20 minutes if the object is still in there.)
• If you’re worried that you might not have gotten rid of whatever was in there (like the entire blueberry or tissue wad).
• If you suspect your tot has shoved a small battery or other chemical-containing object in his nose. These can burn the nasal passages, and the doctor may advise you to go directly to the ER.
How to prevent future accidents:
Stay calm, or else your little one might try it again just to see your reaction. Give him some nose care tips, and explain that it’s not a good idea to put anything in his nose because we need our noses for breathing. Keep tiny things away from your toddler (they’re a choking hazard as well as a risk for getting stuck in the nose), and, of course, always keep an eye out when he’s eating or playing outside.
By Charlene van Tonder