What Are the Signs of a Foreign Body in the Nose?

poster 3vYou may suspect that your child has put something in their nose, but are unable to see it when you look up their nose. Foreign objects in the nose may cause other signs.

Nasal Drainage

A foreign body in the nostril will cause nasal drainage. This drainage may be clear, gray, or bloody. Nasal drainage with a bad odor may be a sign of an infection.

Breathing Difficulty

Your child may have difficulty breathing through the affected nostril. This occurs when the object clogs the nostril, making it difficult for air to move through the nasal passage.

Your child may make whistling noises when breathing through their nose. A stuck object could cause this noise.

Diagnosing a Foreign Body in the Nose

Make an appointment with your child’s doctor if you suspect your child has something in their nose but you can’t see it. At the appointment, the doctor will ask your child to lay back while they look into your child’s nose with a hand-held lighted instrument.

Your child’s doctor may swab nasal discharge and have it tested for the presence of bacteria.

How to Remove the Object

Keep calm if you discover an object in your child’s nose. Your child may begin to panic if they see you panicking.

 The only treatment for this condition is to remove the foreign object from the nostril. In some cases, blowing the nose gently may be all that’s necessary to treat this condition.

You can also try removing the object with tweezers. Only use tweezers on larger objects. Tweezers may push smaller objects farther up the nose.

Avoid sticking cotton swabs or your fingers into your child’s nose. This can also push the object farther into the nose.

Stop your child from sniffing. Sniffing could cause the object to move farther up their nose and pose a choking hazard. Encourage your child to breathe through their mouth until the object is removed.

Go to your nearest hospital emergency room or doctor’s office if you can’t remove the object with tweezers. They’ll have other instruments that can remove the object. These include instruments that will help them grasp or scoop out the object and machines that will suction the object out.

To make it more comfortable, the doctor may place a topical anesthetic (spray or drops) inside the nose to slightly numb the area. The doctor may apply a drug that helps prevent a nosebleed prior to the procedure as well.

Your child’s doctor may prescribe antibiotics or nasal drops to treat or prevent an infection.

How Do I Prevent My Child Sticking from Putting Foreign Objects in Their Nose?

Even with careful supervision, it can be difficult to prevent your child from putting foreign objects in their nose, ears, or mouth. Sometimes children will misbehave for attention. For this reason, never yell at your child when you catch them putting things in their noses.

Explain to your child how noses function, and why it’s a bad idea to put things in their nose. Have this conversation every time you catch your child trying to put things in their nose.

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