Kathy Petersen’s Blog

Why do kids put things up their noses?

Posted in children by Kathy on September 20, 2008

Seriously. I put chalk up my nose once when I was a kid and too young to remember it. My mom took me to our local small-town doctor who was an old woman (very odd to have an old female doctor in those days, because when she was in med school, she was probably the only woman in the class). Anyway, I guess the chalk was visible, because she blew water up one nostril to push the chalk out of the other.

Well, the other night, my son followed in my footsteps. My kids aren’t bad about putting things in their mouths, so I let them play with my button collection, and of course, keep finding buttons about every other day that missed the initial clean-up. So I was reading them a story, and out of the corner of my eye, I see Keith (who is nearly 4) examining a button very closely. Or so I think. A couple of seconds later, he says, “Oh, no! The button!” Since he’s not usually melodramatic like that about dropping things, I asked him, “What happened?” And he said, “The button is in my nose!” Lovely.

Of course, I immediately start looking on the internet about how to get objects out of the nose, and end up coming across all sorts of blogs and articles and stories about boogers and nose-rings and nose-studs — absolutely no help at all. So, I look up things like “nasopharynx” and “nasal cavity” — trying to figure out how to encourage the button to come back out (I couldn’t see it — I looked). I called my mom to find out how Dr. Mauney had gotten the chalk out of my nose, and then spent some time trying to figure out a different way of doing it, because holding down my son and shooting water up his nose was not going to be fun. Especially considering that I didn’t know if we even had a straw. I started looking for the nasal aspirator (a.k.a., a snot-sucker), and couldn’t find it (it ended up being under the toy box, where I happened to find it the next day). While I was looking around the boys’ incredibly messy room for it, Keith came up to me very excited with the button in his hand! Woo-hoo! No trip to the ER at 8 o’clock at night!

I wasn’t too worried about the button as such, except for the thought that somehow it might fall out of his nasal cavity and into the back of his throat where he might inhale it and choke on it in the middle of the night. Not exactly a restful thought, eh? At least I’m reasonably certain he’ll never do it again. It didn’t traumatize him as such, but he was a bit distressed when it happened, and very relieved when it came out.

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2 Responses

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  1. Britt said, on September 22, 2008 at 6:00 am

    For sure get a Nosefrida aspirator for the next time this happens, my daughter had a piece of playdoh up her nose for TWO days-which I didn’t know- and this little Swedish gadget fished it right out! I could not believe this blue thing came out and if I hadn’t used the Nosefrida, who knows how long it would be there. I just thought she was stuffed up with a cold…. yeah go Swedes and their inventions!

    Thanks! I’ve never heard of that. Here’s the link about it: http://www.nosefrida.com/
    -Kathy

  2. […] the little munchkins get the bright idea to shove something small in their ear or up their nose. This happened with my younger daughter. She was about 2 or 3 and she came running up to […]


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