Children are naturally curious and often wonder how things work. Usually, they display this curiosity by asking questions, or by exploring the world around them.
One of the dangers that can occur as a result of this curiosity is that your child may place foreign objects into their mouth, nose, or ears. While often harmless, this can create a choking hazard and put your child in danger of serious injuries or infections.
A foreign body in the nose means that an object is present in the nose when it’s not naturally supposed to be there. Children under the age of five often have this issue. But it’s not uncommon for older children to place foreign objects in their nostrils.
Common items that children put in their noses include:
Button batteries, such as those found in a watch, are of particular concern. They can cause serious injury to the nasal passage in as little as four hours. Paired disc magnets that are sometimes used to attach earrings or a nose ring can also damage tissue. This would typically occur over a few weeks.
Children often put these objects into their noses out of curiosity, or because they’re mimicking other children. However, foreign objects can also go into the nose while your child is sleeping, or when they try to sniff or smell an object.
You may suspect that your child has put something in their nose, but are unable to see it when you look up their nose. Foreign objects in the nose may cause other signs.
A foreign body in the nostril will cause nasal drainage. This drainage may be clear, gray, or bloody. Nasal drainage with a bad odor may be a sign of an infection.
Your child may have difficulty breathing through the affected nostril. This occurs when the object clogs the nostril, making it difficult for air to move through the nasal passage.
Your child may make whistling noises when breathing through their nose. A stuck object could cause this noise.