What Weird Object Has Your Child Put In Their Body?

A strange photo has just popped up in my Facebook feed. It’s a Dora the Explorer BandAid dripping with green snot on a baby wipe. Ahh, the memories.

My daughter is now 9. But as a child, she went through a phase where she liked to stick random objects up her nose. This snot-riddled Dora the Explorer BandAid was one of those objects.

She had been snuffling for days and I assumed she was getting a cold. As we were driving home from the shops, she sneezed and out it came. Her older brother teaser her and made “Ewwww” noises.

Amelie and Alison Godfrey
How could someone who looks so sweet stick random objects up her nose? Photo: Alison Godfrey

Not just my daughter

Then I reminded him that his sister was not the only one who liked to stick things up her nose.

His incident was far worse. It happened at the dinner table. As we were eating, he suddenly said: “Mummy, I put a pea up my nose.”

“You didn’t, did you?”

“Yes, I did,” he giggled.

He did. I asked him to blow his nose. It didn’t move. We tried blocking one nostril. It still wouldn’t budge.

I tried tweezers. But that pea was perfectly cooked, which was quite the effort for me, juggling two kids under three at witching hour. The pea did not have one wrinkle to grab onto. I was worried that I might push it further up his nostril into his brain.

Peas random objects kids stick in their bodies
Peas are a common random object kids stick into their bodies. Photo: BigStick

After 30 minutes of trying to remove the pea, my husband had to take my son to hospital. The doctors removed that perfect, plump, green pea via suction.

My son never shoved anything random in his body again.

Sadly, the Dora the Explorer BandAid was not the last time my daughter shoved something up her nose. A week later she shoved a folded scrap of napkin corner into her nostril. This time, however, it came out with blood on it. That finally freaked her out so much that the “shoving of random objects into body cavities” phase ended.

Callum Godfrey
Kids do random things that stop you in your tracks. Photo: Alison Godfrey

Not just my kids

Apparently, this kind of behaviour is common in kids under 4. It’s often a sensory thing.

paint stuck in ears
At least the paint washed out. Photo: Alison Godfrey

Here’s the official advice if it has happened to you:

If you think your child has something stuck in his nose, eye, ear or other body opening, seek medical advice. Don’t try to remove the object yourself, because this could cause further injury. And if your child puts a button battery in any body opening, call the Poisons Information Centre immediately on 131 126.

You can tell if your child has shoved something into their nose because they often start to get snotty, they may complain of pain or itchiness, and they may even have bad breath or bleed from the nose. If your child has stuck an object in their ear they may have trouble hearing, or have redness or discharge around the ear.

The danger items to keep a lookout for (and make sure you keep off the floor) are:

  • foods like popcorn, dried peas, watermelon seeds, nuts and chocolate with nuts
  • marbles, buttons, beads and pen lids
  • polystyrene balls  − these can be inhaled and don’t show up on x-rays
  • coins
  • small batteries, which can leak acid and cause injury if swallowed
  • toys with removable eyes, noses or other small parts
  • needles, pins and safety pins

And if the worst does happen and they do shove something random into their body parts, remember, you’re not alone. Plenty of kids have done it.

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Alison Godfrey has worked as a journalist and editor for more than 20 years. She loves coffee, wine, skiing and spending time with her husband, two children and their dog. But she's still not sure about the cat. He's pretty cranky.

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