How To Safely Remove Objects From Your Toddler's Nose

young boy playing on the bed

Help! My toddler got a raisin stuck up his nose! Yep, no kidding, this actually happened last month, and had I known what a ‘Mother’s Kiss’ was, I might have been able to help him at home.

It was lunchtime. I was busy working from home when my phone started ringing. It was my 2-year old’s childminder. “That’s unusual,” I said to myself, scrambling to answer, we never call each other during the day.

I picked up the phone to hear how Billy had decided to pop a yoghurt raisin up his right nostril to amuse his crowd of little pals, and luckily, one of his crew, a 4-year-old girl had clocked it and sounded the alarm. 

The white yoghurt coating had since melted and made an unsightly appearance all down his face, mixed in with the most sorry-for-himself tears, but the raisin was very firmly stuck, quite far up his nose. It was refusing to budge.

They tried, but no matter what, they couldn’t get it back down... Unfortunately, Billy is still young enough to confuse a ‘sniff’ with a ‘blow’, so only managed to suck the raisin further up his nostril. Facepalm.

My husband rushed out to pick him up, while I dialled the GP surgery hoping for some advice. Closed for lunch, back in an hour. Okay great, so 111 it is. They advised a trip to A&E would be the only solution, as our GP would not be able to help had they been open anyway. Apparently, this isn’t a problem you can just leave to chance, as the raisin could move and he could choke in his sleep, or left unattended, could cause infection.

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Billy arrived back home, absolutely beside himself. I could hear him crying even before I'd opened the front door.

“Oh, Billy!” I laughed, and picked him up for a cuddle. Suddenly, he decided the whole thing was really quite amusing.

“What did you do?” I quizzed him.

“Stuck a raisin up my nose,” he says with a crooked smile, his chubby cheeks all flushed and his long eyelashes wet with tears.

I couldn’t get a straight answer as to whether the raisin was still up there, after he announced it had fallen down the front of his jumper, but in his next sentence, he was pointing to his right nostril to confirm that yes, it was still very much there. Not budging. Great.

Not leaving anything to chance, I bundled him into the car and drove over to Epsom A&E, twenty minutes or so up the road. We were ushered into triage and seen really quickly and in no time we were called onto the ward for treatment. Billy proudly led the way through the corridors into the paediatric A&E ward, with me lagging a fair few paces behind trying to keep up, laden down with our coats and a huge bag full of snacks, colouring books, pens and a tablet – in preparation for the usual 4 hour wait time.

Up he jumped onto the bed, as he excitedly waited to see what would happen next.

They shared a technique with me called ‘Mother’s Kiss’ which I’d never heard of but wanted to share with you guys, so if this happens to you, you know what to try first. 

What is a 'Mother's kiss?'

A ‘mother’s kiss’ is where you place your mouth firmly over your child’s mouth while holding the clear nostril (in Billy’s case, his left) closed with your finger. Then, you blow quite hard into your child’s mouth in the hope of dislodging the object by forcing it back down and out of the nostril it went up. 

Job done? Not quite, but on first go we heard movement that brought the raisin further back down the nasal passage.

Billy looked completely shocked, but was very quiet, deciding not to put up a protest. I tried the Mother’s Kiss three more times but no joy… A shiny torch up the nose concluded it had moved slightly and was now in reach, so the nurse whipped out the longest tweezers I’ve ever seen, while Billy froze to the hospital bed as she delicately and very quickly eased them into his nose to pull out the offending piece of dried fruit.

Billy’s face was a picture! The nurses there were SO nice he thoroughly enjoyed himself. So much so that I was worried we’d be privy to a repeat performance the very next day…

Thankfully not.

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