Has your child ever picked up a small object and – for no reason whatsoever – stuffed it into their ear? Or even up their nose? They’re not the only ones.
Removing foreign objects from ears and noses costs the NHS England almost £3m a year, a new study suggests – and children are responsible for the majority of items removed from ears (95 per cent) and noses (85 per cent) in hospitals.
Kids aged one to four are the most likely to need help to have items removed from their nose, while five to nine year olds turn up at A&E with something in their ear the most, according England’s Hospital Episode Statistics.
A paper – ‘Will Children Ever Learn?’ published in the The Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons – looked at these reported cases. Between 2010 and 2016, an average of 1,218 nasal and 2,479 aural removals took place every year.
“The occurrence of foreign bodies in children is generally attributed to curiosity, a whim to explore orifices and accidental entry of the foreign body,” it suggests.
Another mum says her son got a small blue sweet stuck up her nose. “His dad was trying to get to it and made it go further in,” she says. “We ended up taking him to the nurse at hospital who got it out.”
Another mum says that her son got a ball from Hungry Hippos stuck in his ear.
What Should I Do If My Child Gets An Object Stuck?
Ashley Martin, public health project manager at the Royal Society for the Provestion of Accidents (RoSPA) tells HuffPost UK it advises parents and carers to keep small objects out of the reach of small children, particularly those under 36 months, and to observe the age recommendations on toys closely.
“With older children, it is less realistic to advise parents and carers to keep small items out of reach and in this case it is probably a more a question of parents observing children’s behaviour to see if they have any tendencies to do this,” he says. “Seeking medical attention is important if such an incident has occurred, especially if the item ingested is a button battery as they can cause significant harm to children.”
If you realise they have something lodged firmly in their nose or ear, the NHS warns that parents risk pushing the object in further if they try to remove it. ]
Instead, parents are advised to go to their nearest A&E department or minor injuries unit. If the child’s nose is blocked, show the child how to breathe through their mouth.
Sometimes parents may not realise their child has an object stuck. However, there are signs parents can look out for.
:: If a child has an object stuck in their nose, they might complain of pain or itchiness; have a smelly discharge from one nostril; bleed from the nose; or have bad breath.
:: If a child has an object stuck in their ear, they might complain of an earache; have redness in or around the ear; have discharge from the ear; or have reduced hearing.