It finally happened. Rocco fulfilled the rite of passage, he stuck something up his nose.
It’s 1 pm and I’m sitting at my computer when the phone rings. I don’t pick up. Who answers their cell phone to an unknown number? Then there’s the ding of a voicemail. “Hi, this is your preschool calling about Rocco….” That’s never a good sign. I immediately call back, as thoughts race through my head about what it could be. “Rocco stuck a bead up his nose.”
What?! He stuck something up his nose? It is stuck and the teachers aren’t allowed to attempt to get it out. Great.
I told my husband what the call was about and he immediately burst out laughing. I was not laughing; I did not find it funny whatsoever. He continued to laugh and then told me about the time he stuck a button up his nose and how his parents took him to the ER. He proceeded to tell me about the time his sister stuck gum up her nose. I began to think I am the only person who hasn’t stuck something up my nose or heard of people sticking things up their noses!Although he thought it was comical, I was worried. What if he stuck the bead too far up there and it would require surgery? What if it caused some irreversible damage? Of course, I was overreaching, but since this was only my second trip to the ER in my four years of parenting, I was rightly worried. I immediately grabbed my purse and rushed out the door, driving (probably too frantically) to his preschool. When I arrived, all of the kids were napping. I gently touched his shoulder to wake him. Apparently, the bead up the nose didn’t hinder his ability to sleep! I looked up his nostril to check out his handy work. Sure enough, there was a light blue bead stuck up there.
Although I didn’t think of it at the time, I probably could have brought tweezers to get it out. Instead, I rushed him to the car and drove speedily to the ER. During our ride to the ER, I asked Rocco why he did it and also explained to him why it was a bad idea. I didn’t scold him or yell at him because he seemed so clueless about the whole thing, and almost pitiful. I reiterated to him several times how important it is not to stick things in your ears or nose, but that was about it.
When we got to the ER, we walked quickly to the entrance, I signed him in and we took our seats. Almost immediately, I realized he was fine. Sure, he had a blue bead stuck up his nose, but he was in a good mood, skipping around the waiting room, happily eating his fruit snacks and goldfish pretzels. When the ER nurse called him back, he made jokes with Rocco about the bead, how it ended up there, and reassured me how common it is for kids his age to do this. Within minutes we were in the back exam rooms and the physician’s assistant came over, armed with some long thin plastic rod. She asked me to hold Rocco and in less than 5 seconds, the bead was out.Just as the nurse had said, the PA confirmed this is very common to see kids who are 3 or 4 sticking objects up their noses or in their ears. I don’t really understand why they would do that, but they do. It wasn’t at all surprising to her that he stuck something up his nose. The most interesting part of the entire experience was the suggestion the PA gave me before I left. She told me, if this ever happens again, I should block the open nostril with my fingers and give him a rescue breath, just like if I was doing CPR. She said the force of the air I blow in might be strong enough to dislodge the bead (or object).
Later, I told Jade about the PA’s suggestion and he laughed again. “So basically, you’re creating a snot rocket.” That’s men for you! The entire experience was annoying and comical at best. On the ride home from the ER, I asked Rocco, “what did you learn today, Rocco?” He replied, “not to stick beads up my nose.” Well, at least he got that right!What to Do If Your Child Stuck Something Up His Nose
First, check to see if you can see the object; if you can see it, try to remove it with flat tweezers.
You should immediately take your child to the ER, if you can’t see the object. If you can see the object and the tweezers are unsuccessful, next you can try the “mother’s kiss” technique my PA suggested.
If the mother’s kiss doesn’t work and the object is food-based, you can also try running water into the child’s nasal passage to dislodge the object.
Here are some other resources to check out: