When Your Child Has an Object in the Ear or Nose - Premier Pediatric Urgent Care Provider in Texas - Little Spurs Pediatric Urgent Care

When Your Child Has an Object in the Ear or Nose

  • January 20, 2023
  • 9
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When Your Child Has an Object in the Ear or Nose - Premier Pediatric Urgent Care Provider in Texas - Little Spurs Pediatric Urgent Care

We all know children are very curious. Infants and toddlers love to explore and figure out how things work. And while we know how much children LOVE to eat things they shouldn’t, they also enjoy sticking objects up their nose and ears!

These objects being in the body can cause infections or can cause trouble breathing. Some objects may need procedures to remove. For parents, it’s important to be aware of which objects can potentially put your child at risk.

Here are some of the objects we have discovered up the ears and nose of our patients:

  • Tissue
  • Rocks
  • Beads
  • Clay/Play-doh
  • Small toys or pieces of toys
  • Nap mat foam
  • Erasers
  • Food
  • Insects
  • Rocks
  • Small toys
  • Buttons
  • Pieces of crayon
  • Small batteries

Sometimes, a foreign body may enter the nose or ear and needs to be removed. Parents should be careful about trying to remove an object themselves, as this could shove the item further inside.

A couple at home things you can try are the following:

  • “Mother’s Kiss”: This trick can be done at home for items stuck up your child’s nose. Close one of your child’s nostrils firmly (the side without the object), then cover their mouth with yours and blow fast and hard. This can sometimes dislodge the object.
  • Tweezers: IF you can see the object and it is close to the entrance of the ear/nose, you can remove the object with tweezers. We also only recommend doing this if your child is cooperative and will stay still during this. If either of those items is a no, then we recommend taking them to a healthcare provider.

There is a process of removing objects from the ear and nose canals by a healthcare provider. This process may include the following:

  • Ear canal may be flushed out with water.
  • Suction machine may be used to help pull the object out.
  • If the object is metal, magnets can be used to bring the object out.
  • Tweezers or forceps can be used to grab and remove the object.

When it comes to objects going into a child’s mouth, we need to worry more about potential choking hazards, and poisoning. When setting up your child’s playroom, consider the size of the toys, as well as if they are developmentally appropriate. While foods are always something to monitor and ensure your child doesn’t choke, here are some other important objects to keep in mind:

  • Toys with magnets
    • Oftentimes, as these toys wear down, the magnets fall out and a child can swallow them. This is very dangerous and the child should immediately be taken to the emergency room ·
  • Button batteries
    • Button batteries are another object that warrants an immediate trip to the ER. Please read our previous blog for more info!
  • Sharp Objects (such as thumbtacks)
  • If your child swallows a sharp object, have them evaluated by a healthcare provider.
  • Pebbles
    • Typically, we don’t worry about a child swallowing pebbles unless it is blocking their airway. Monitor their stool to watch for the stone to come out the other side!
  • Coins
    •  Same as pebbles.

Choking, gagging, or coughing after suspected ingestion is serious, and the child should be evaluated by a healthcare provider. If your child ingests an object, contact Poison Control at (800) 222-1222. They can give you advice on what to do.


Little Spurs Pediatric Urgent Care opened in 2006 in San Antonio, Texas. With multiple locations in San Antonio and Dallas, they are open seven days a week with extended evening hours and see walk-in patients or through an online check-in system. They accept most commercial insurance and Medicaid plans.


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