Something Stuck in Your Kid's Nose? Try the 'Mother's Kiss'

Health Check 26

According to MedlinePlus and many shocked, disbelieving parents, children are known to stick all sorts of crap into their nose. Food, seeds, dried beans, small toys, crayon pieces, erasers, paper wads, cotton, and beads are just a few of the things kids have rammed up their snout-holes. Once something gets stuck, it can lead to a number of unpleasant symptoms, including irritation, bleeding, infection, or even difficulty breathing -- but the medical process for removing a foreign body from the nasal cavity can be highly invasive or even frightening.

So, what's a parent to do when Junior cluelessly pushes a pea so far up his snot-locker that it seems to have gotten lodged in his brain? Based on some groundbreaking new research from British scientists, there's an easily-performed technique that's considered safe and effective for removing objects from nostrils.

Hilariously, it's called the "mother's kiss."

The mother's kiss works as follows:

• The child's mother (or "trusted caregiver") places their mouth around the child's mouth to create a seal
• Caregiver uses a finger to block the child's clear nostril (as in, the one that doesn't have a Lego stuck in it)
• Caregiver blows into the child's mouth

The idea is that the pressure from the breath will force the object out. Boy, it sounds ENORMOUSLY pleasant for all involved parties, does it not? What a wonderful name for a fun and surely well-received gesture!

Still, as awful as it must be to hold down your kid in order to try and blast a crayon out his nose, it's probably worse for a kid to endure the process of having something removed in the emergency room via hooks, forceps, or suction.

According to doctors cited in the study, this method is a safe treatment that isn't known to cause complications:

The mother's kiss appears to be a safe and effective technique for first-line treatment in the removal of a foreign body from the nasal cavity. In addition, it may prevent the need for general anesthesia in some cases.

According to another doctor, however, you shouldn't try this without medical supervision, because you could accidentally blow the object into the child's lungs.

This is rare, but could occur.

Bizarrely, that same doctor cautions that if you do attempt the procedure, you'll have to summon your courage:

The mom has to be brave. Some parents want to try it and others are scared of it.

Uh, that's because of the LUNG THING you just said, Doctor. What the hell? "Don't do this because you might kill your kid! But if you don't do it, you're a pussy."

So as with all research and medical opinions these days, it's damned if you do, damned if you don't. Personally, I think the main takeaway here with the mother's kiss technique is this: IT NEEDS A NEW NAME.

Has your kid ever got something stuck in their name? Did you try the 'mother's kiss' to get it out?

Image via gagilas/Flickr

toddler health


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Dena Moss

I had one child that would try to put anything up his nose.... His most famous episode... Wel lived in an older house that had old school paneling. He broke off a piece then proceeded to break it apart into little strips of wood and push each piece up his nose. Had to lay him out on the breakfast bar with a pair of tweezers and oh so carefully pull each wood sliver out of his nose..


nonmember avatar April

My child peeled weather stripping from the door and forced it up his nose. Like, a HUGE chunk and I still don't know how he managed it. It took 2 people 20 minutes to get it out with tweezers. We were thisclose to going to the hospital when I finally pulled it out.

nonmember avatar Brittany

We block the clear nostril and use a vacuum hose to suck the object out of the blocked nostril. Might suck out a little snot, but sure beats forcing the object into the childs lung or pushing it further up with tweezers or outrageous Dr. bills...

Alexa Shelton

My three year old stuck part of a ripped up wipe way up there. Fortunately I was able to remove it with tweezers. She wasn't too freaked out, but all I could say is, "Why, oh why would you do that!?"

nonmember avatar Michelle

I was a triage nurse for a Pediatricians office and always recommended this to parents after learning it from ER nurses!

Casey Dalbey

2 of my kids have stuck pebbles/rocks up their noses. I just don't think this would have worked in our case since they were pretty far up there. But if the next child decides this is a good idea (again) I am willing to try it.


Kaela Wheeler

...Or you could find out just how good your 2 year old is at blowing snot rockets (not that that's happened to Kid shot a pea clear across the kitchen!)

tuffy... tuffymama

LO stuck a tiny glitter pompon in his snout when he was about a year and a half old. I covered his mouth with my hand and put my mouth over his whole nose, and sucked it right out. I wouldn't do that for anyone else lol.


tuffymama, I read that as "glitter tampon." Ahh, sleep deprivation!

Momto... MomtoDavid

not the nose, but the ear. My son was 3 and he got a bead stuck in his ear. I think it was in there for a few days before I noticed it. It was on the opposite side from me when he bathed so I didn't see it, I had to take him to the ER to get it out cause it was pretty stuck and i was scared I was going to push it in further. It wouldn't even suction out. They had a suction thing in the ER room. They had to call the OR and have them bring this thing in that looked like something you would scrape clay with if you were making a clay modle. I want to call it a curret but I'm not sure if it's the right name for it. They rolled my son in the bedsheet to hold his hands down and had me 'give him a hug' and they hooked the bead and rolled it out.

But I think if it was in the nose, I would try a babies nose sucker first, or if it was something cloth a pair of tweezers before taking them to the ER. 

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