Oh the wonders of the body! For a child, the eyes, the ears and the nose are all perfect places to hide things. If your child hasn’t had a foreign object lodged in one of these areas yet, then consider yourself lucky. Here’s what to do if you do find yourself comforting a worried child with a foreign body in the eyes, ears or nose.
Eye Problems Solved
Chemicals in the eyes are a big problem for small children. If your child has splashed any chemicals or corrosive fluids in the eyes, then wash her eyes out with cold water immediately. Keep her eyelids apart with your finger so you know the water is getting in there. Cover the eye with a pad and head into the hospital. If you have the chemical bottle, bring it with you as well.
If your child seem irritated and is complaining about something in the eye but you can’t see anything, then it may be particles of dust or an eyelash. Sometimes the natural watering of the eye will wash the foreign object away but you may need to call in reinforcements. Sit your child down and separate the eyelids with your fingers. If you can see something in there, then wash it out using clean water. Aim for the inner corner of the eye and be very gentle. Alternatively, you can use a damp cloth to lift it out.
Common Ear Issues
If you notice that your child is complaining about a sore or tickle in the ear, is having trouble hearing or rubbing on his ear, then it may be a sign that something is stuck in there. However, it could also be the sign of an infection. Insects can crawl into your child’s ear and children may push small objects into their ears.
If your child has an insect in her ear then sit her down and support her head with the affected ear up right. Flood the ear with tepid water so that the insect will float out. If this does not work, then take your child to the hospital.
If your child has lodged something into her ear, such as a small bead, then the object can become stuck and cause pain and partial deafness. If this is the case, then take your child to the hospital – don’t risk trying to get it out yourself as it might become stuck further and do permanent damage.
Small children can easily stick small items up their nose. In fact, there may be a fascination with doing this. From pieces of carrot and peas at dinner to marbles and other small toys, if your child has done this, then it’s up to you to help him get it out.
Your child may be complaining about the object or you may notice blood stained discharge coming from his nose. If possible, get your child to blow his nose one nostril at a time. If this doesn’t get the object out, then don’t try to do it yourself. Instead, take your child to the hospital.
Regardless of what the foreign object is, your child is most likely going to be scared and need to be reassured that everything is okay. Even if you do end up making a trip to the hospital, keep calm and focused. If your child sees you panicking, then this is most likely going to trigger her panic as well. And what’s harder to deal with than a toddler with a marble up her nose? How about a panicked toddler with a marble up her nose?
For further information and advice, go to our health hotlines information.
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