Youngsters have a tendency to put things up their noses out of curiosity, or perhaps to see what they smell like, or maybe just because they want to store them somewhere. Whatever the reason, foreign bodies in your child’s nose can be dangerous if they obstruct breathing. Children’s noses are small, but there is a surprising array of things that can get stuck in them, such as a small toy, piece of candy, bead, button, marble, raisin, seed, or any manner of torn-off bit of something, such as tissue or crayon.

It’s possible that he or she may have the object in the nose for several hours or days without you noticing. He or she may be shy or fearful about saying anything. The clearest signs that your child may have something stuck in his or her nose include:

  • Difficulty breathing out of one nostril
  • Discharge or blood from one nostril
  • Irritation or pain in the nose
  • Irritability (especially in infants)

Stay calm. Scaring your child may make him or her breathe heavily, which could suck the object further into the nose. Ask your child to breath slowly through his or her mouth.

If you can see the item (and ONLY if you can see it), take a clean pair of blunt tweezers and gently try to remove it. Do not insert a cotton swab, finger, or other item into the nose to try and get the item out. You could end up pushing the object further into the nose.

If the child is able to blow his or her nose, plug the unaffected nostril and ask him or her to blow gently into a tissue. Don’t blow for too hard or too long, though.

When to see your pediatrician or Orlando ENT doctor:

  • If you cannot see the object in the nose and blowing does not get it out.
  • If you’re not sure if you got the entire object out
  • If the blood and/or discharge does not cease even after you removed the object and/or if bleeding persists for more than 15 minutes.
  • If you suspect that the foreign object contains chemicals, such as a small battery, that could burn the inside of the nose.
  • If the child cannot breath well or has objects stuck on both nostrils


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