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Foreign body in the nose

Something stuck in the nose; Objects in the nose

This article discusses first aid for a foreign object placed into the nose.

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Nasal anatomy

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Considerations

Curious young children may insert small objects into their nose in a normal attempt to explore their own bodies. Objects placed in the nose may include food, seeds, dried beans, small toys (such as marbles), crayon pieces, erasers, paper wads, cotton, beads, button batteries, and disc magnets.

A foreign body in a child's nose can be there for a while without a parent being aware of the problem. The object may only be discovered when visiting a health care provider to find the cause of irritation, bleeding, infection, or difficulty breathing.

Symptoms

Symptoms that your child may have a foreign body in his or her nose include:

First Aid

First aid steps include:

Do Not

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Get medical help right away for any of the following:

Prevention

Prevention measures may include:

Related Information

References

Chi DH, Tobey A. Otolaryngology. In: Zitelli BJ, McIntire SC, Nowalk AJ, Garrison J, eds. Zitelli and Davis' Atlas of Pediatric Physical Diagnosis. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2023:chap 24.

Haynes JH, Zeringue M. Removal of foreign bodies for the ear and nose. In: Fowler GC, ed. Pfenninger and Fowler's Procedures for Primary Care. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 204.

Thomas SH, Goodloe JM. Foreign bodies. In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill M, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 53.

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Review Date: 11/13/2021  

Reviewed By: Jesse Borke, MD, CPE, FAAEM, FACEP, Attending Physician at Kaiser Permanente, Orange County, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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