Last week my 3-year-old came running down stairs screaming. He had bitten off two tiny tires from a toy car and accidentally sniffed them up his nose! After several attempts to blow them out, the inevitable Emergency Room visit ensued.
My husband, in his infinite wisdom, yelled for me to find the car the tires came from to take to the hospital.
During the ride to the E.R. Nicholas sneezed several times. While his nose ran and his face swelled, he cried in pain. My husband drove just a little faster. We have never had a child put foreign objects in his nose before. Let alone sniff it up so far that it couldn't be blown out.
Upon arrival, the nurses and medical team chuckled a bit. Apparently, this type of experience is not uncommon in preschoolers.
Upon examination the doctor could see the tire. At the time, we thought there was only one up there, but my older son informed us that there were actually two! The doctor also asked for the culprit vehicle. Luckily, I was able to retrieve it from my purse.
The first and least invasive solution was to place cotton soaked in epinephrine in the nostrils to reduce the swelling of the nasal passages. The idea was to bring the swelling down enough to have Nicholas blow them out. After several failed attempts and a couple of hours, it was decided that a more invasive approach would have to be pursued.
Nicholas was papoosed (strapped with Velcro onto a backboard) and the doctor quickly removed one tire. When he looked up the nostril again, there was the second one! He quickly removed the second tire.
When a child puts an object in the nose or ears:
Read more about When to Visit the Emergency Room.
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When Kids put things up their noses or in their ears