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My Daughter's Dirty Little Secret

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A Momologue by Julie: When a little girl sticks stuff up her nose, what's a Mom to do?

I found out my daughter has been putting white stuff up her nose. No, thankfully, it's not that white stuff—she's only four. My little one has been sticking little pieces of Kleenex up her nose for kicks while she's at preschool. How did I discover this fun fact? When I helped her blow her nose last night, I saw what looked like a big white worm fly out. I immediately began to inspect it.

And yes, I touched it, and even unraveled it, once she refused to tell me what it was. (Pass the hand sanitzier, please.) After some not-so-gentle prodding, she finally confessed that she and her friend Sara had put Kleenex up their nose during nap time. Nap time is 12:00, and it was now nearly eight. The thought of that soggy white thing being lodged up my child's nose for eight hours sent me into a tailspin. I called the friend's parents to warn them to check her nose. I talked to my daughter's teachers this morning to alert them to her little hobby so they can keep an eye out. And I called friend of Mom•Logic pediatrician Dr. Gwenn to see just what the dangers really are when a child sticks something up her nose.

"Foreign bodies up noses usually don't hide for very long," Dr. Gwenn says. "Eventually an inflammatory response will occur, such as swelling, bleeding, pain, or even infection. Many objects can be blown out of the nose by the child, like the tissue paper was, but other objects should be removed by a doctor so that infection doesn't set in. The other complication we worry about in small children is choking. The nasal passage is connected to the mouth, so a small child could snort a bead up the nose and into the mouth and swallow it. Depending on the size of the bead (or whatever the object is), a child could be at risk for

You can bet my daughter is going to continue to get a firm talking to about the dangers of sticking things up her nose!" Has your child ever stuck a foreign object in his or her nose or ear? Please tell us about it!

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5 comments so far | Post a comment now
bethc January 6, 2008, 9:58 PM

So glad you posted this i’m going to keep an eye out because this completely seems like something my dd would do! so gross but totally real.

Bonnie January 7, 2008, 6:43 AM

One of my daughters, at age three, had a runny note, just out of one side. It was a watery drainage that wouldn’t quit. She saw her pediatrician who gave her some antibiotics (not my favorite thing), but the nasal drainage continued, and it got to the point that she had a bright red streak beneath that nostril from it, and it just ran and ran and ran. One day, in desperation, I told her to blow really, really hard. A big chunk of foam rubber, origin still unknown, flew out of her nose, and that was the end of the problem. Eeewww, did it smell bad! You’d have thought that a pediatrician would have figured this out instead of giving my daughter antibiotics.

Amanda September 30, 2009, 1:56 PM

I am now SO afraid for when I have kids. I never even THOUGHT of that!

Ash September 30, 2009, 2:01 PM

When I was a kid I would stick things like crackers and raisins in my ears. I remember a cracker crumbling to bits as I used my finger to push it further into my ear. Although I remember doing it, the exact moment I was doing it actually, I don’t know what I was thinking. I also remember the doctor sticking something long and sharp in my ear and pulling out all sorts of crap into a little pink tub shaped like a jelly bean.

Ann April 24, 2010, 4:00 PM

When I was five I stuck about 4 kleenex’s up my nose. It got infected and my family would walk up to me and tell me I smelled. About 2 weeks later my dad held my head and had me blow it all out. He said it was the god-awful nastiest thing he’s ever smelled/seen. I never did it again.

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