How to Care for Your Child with a Foreign Object in the Nose

This leaflet will provide you with information on how to care for your child with a foreign object stuck in his/her nose that has not been possible to remove in the Emergency Department

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Sometimes, young children put something in their noses, and it gets stuck. The emergency doctor will see the object (foreign body) in your child's nose using a special light; however he/she may not be able to remove it. In this case, your child needs to see an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist doctor, who will be able to remove it with special tools and a magnifier.

If the nose looks infected, the doctor will give antibiotics.

It is safe for your child to be cared for at home until the ENT doctor can remove the object.

The ENT team will contact you to have the object removed.

Carefully follow the ENT doctor's instructions about when your child should stop eating and drinking before the appointment.

Tonsillitis is a common infection in children that affects the tonsils. It can be caused by viruses and bacteria

Home care advice

  • Do not try to remove the object yourself (even if you can see it).
  • Do not clean the inside of the nose.
  • If your doctor advises giving medicine for pain, you can give
    • Paracetamol (any brand) or Ibuprofen (any brand)
    • Follow the instruction on the medicine package for the correct dose for your child
    • Do not give Aspirin to your child as this can cause a serious complication

If a nosebleed happens, follow these instructions

  • Stay calm and comfort your child.
  • Have your child sit up and tilt the head slightly forward to keep blood from running down the back of the throat.
  • It may help to have your child lean over a sink or pail to catch the blood.
  • Do not put tissues or anything else inside the nose to catch the blood.
  • Have your child pinch the bottom of the nostrils (the soft part of the nose) together using the index finger and thumb. Hold it without stopping for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, check for bleeding.
  • If the nose is still bleeding, pinch the nose for another 10 minutes.

When should I seek medical advice?

Seek medical advice if your child:

  • Is taking pain medicines and still has pain
  • Has foul-smelling fluid draining from the nose
  • Gets a fever
  • Has bleeding from the nose after pinching it closed twice for 10 minutes each time (as described above)   

Go to the Emergency Department if your child:

  • Is coughing, wheezing, or having trouble breathing.
  • Put a button battery up their nose. Button cell batteries are dangerous and can cause chemical and electrical burns.