There is perhaps not a scarier situation for a parent, than having a foreign object stuck somewhere in their child’s body. Ears, noses, even mouths and throats, all can become narrow passages just begging for little fingers to shove small objects like beads, small toys or even food into.
Most times, these situations are not cause for great concern, but when they involve the mouth, throat or nose, they potentially compromise breathing and should always be dealt with IMMEDIATELY.
In most other cases, the object will cause minor pain or discomfort and depending where it is lodged, it may interfere with hearing, or cause drainage – even minor bleeding from the nose, ear or mouth.
If the object is visible and can be removed without causing further pain, discomfort or damage, you can attempt to do so.
For objects in the nose, simply try to have the child or adult gently blow their nose. Again, if this process is too painful or accompanied by excess blood, then stop and seek immediate medical attention. Even if the object comes out, but there appears to be excessive pain or bleeding, follow-up care is recommended.
For objects lodged in the ear canal, if the object is not visible or easily removed – DO NOT attempt to retrieve it yourself. AND NEVER USE cotton swabs or any other type of instrument. This will only push the object further into the canal and likely scratch or damage the external canal. You may risk rupturing the ear drum.
On occasion, if the foreign object is lodged under the skin, this will require medical intervention in removing it. You might be successful in pushing the object out – as is the case often with a splinter. But if you cannot fully see the foreign body or you’re not sure if you removed the entire object, again- seek medical attention.
Most importantly – if the foreign body obstructs breathing, is causing excessive bleeding or in any way poses a life-threatening situation, CALL 911 or seek emergency care.