Items Stuck in Ears or Noses – A Mom’s Guide
We’ve all heard stories of young children’s curiosity getting the best of them and putting small objects into an orifice.
Whether it’s a pea stuck in a nostril or a small toy part swallowed, the truth is that these instances can be scary for parents.
So, what do you do when the next story told involves your child? Here we offer you the ultimate Items Stuck in Ears or Noses, a Mom’s guide.
Ordinary Objects That Could Become Lodged in a Child’s Orifice
Children, especially those under 5, are naturally curious and love to grab and play with any small object they find.
These are some of the most common items we’ve found in children’s noses and ears:
- Beads and buttons
- Food such as peas, peanuts, beans, and other seeds
- Small toys or toy parts
- Nails, screws, tacks, and pins
While most of these items are unlikely to cause permanent damage, it’s best if you don’t try to remove them yourself and instead enlist a doctor’s help.
Some small items are not as harmless as the ones we mentioned before. This is the case with small batteries, including button batteries which contain hazardous chemicals that can cause poisoning and electrical currents that can damage your child’s ear or nose.
Another dangerous item is small disc magnets. If your child swallows several magnets, these can meet up in the digestive tract, causing:
- Bowel blockages
- Damage or even death of intestinal tissue
- Both these conditions are serious and require immediate medical attention.
Tips to Help Prevent Your Child from Inserting or Swallowing Foreign Objects
It’s always best to avoid these scary situations altogether. These tips can help:
- Always supervise toddlers while they eat, especially when they are eating chopped veggies, peas, or popcorn.
- Keep tiny beads, buttons, and marbles out of reach of children’s hands
- If you have older children, teach them that a baby’s ears and nose are delicate, and they should never poke or insert things into them
- Before setting your baby or toddler down to play, check the floor and low furniture for jewelry, small toys and toy parts, pen lids, straws, and other small objects
- Never leave batteries out. Store these and other hazardous items out of sight and reach of small children
Signs Your Child Has a Small Object Stuck Somewhere
Objects in The Ears
Your child might:
- Have redness or swelling in or around the ear
- Have an earache (keep in mind that not all stuck objects cause earaches)
- Have a discharge from the ear
- Have trouble hearing or shows signs of reduced hearing
Objects in The Nose
Your child might:
- Have a smelly discharge coming from one nostril
- Have nose bleeds
- Complain of pain or itchiness inside the nose
- Have Bad Breath
Objects in The Throat
Your child might:
- Gag, drool or have trouble swallowing
- Start coughing or wheezing when breathing
- Have difficulty breathing or start to choke
Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.
When to go to the ER
If you know or think your child may have something stuck in their nose, ear, or another orifice, please don’t try to remove it yourself, as this could result in further injury. Instead, seek medical attention to have the item removed.
If you notice your child is choking or has difficulty breathing or swallowing, seek immediate medical attention at the nearest ER.
If your child swallowed a button battery, please call 911 immediately. The chemicals in batteries can burn through the tissue in the windpipe and digestive system in as little as two hours, causing severe, long-lasting injury.
Children’s curiosity sometimes wins, and accidents happen regardless of how vigilant you are as a mom. The good news is that Altus Emergency Centers is always here to help you through them.
At Altus Emergency Centers, we have pediatric examining rooms designed to make the experience of a visit to the ER less scary.
Our doctors and nurses will take care of your child as if it were their own and help get them healthy again.