Pea up the nose - is it serious?

Elfrieda - posted on 12/05/2011 ( 30 moms have responded )

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Okay, this is so cliche, but it happened. My 23 month old stuck a pea up his nose at supper today. *roll eyes* At least, I THINK he did. I didn't actually see it. He was eating peas and then suddenly his nose was giving him trouble and he was sticking his finger way up there. (and just last week he put a piece of toast in his ear and this morning it was a banana in the eye, so it's not unreasonable to think the nose is next)

He was quite disturbed and kept poking at it. My husband tried to get him to snort it out, but that just made him giggle, and we turned him upside down to try to see something, but we couldn't. After all that, he was quite cheerful again, so we just put him to bed.

My questions: is it serious? should I be looking for any signs of sinus-rot? Why is this happening? We don't live in a sitcom!

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Karen - posted on 12/06/2011

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My daughter did this when she was 2, I just covered her other nostril, put my mouth over hers and blew... the object became dislodged easily and there was no unnecessary trauma and no need for a trip to the ER..

Karen - posted on 12/06/2011

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Who suggested blowing in his nose?I said COVER his nostril and blow in his mouth... it will expel the object...THAT advice was given to me by a highly respected pediatrician. Many things can be handled at home without going off the deep end and running to a Dr.. If there is a question, a call to the dr office can determine whether a visit is necessary or advice on how to handle it at home..a side note.. she did this again a couple more times over the years.. she is now going on 14 and is quite healthy and well adjusted.

Helen - posted on 12/07/2011

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well yes it can be serious. There are two issues here -
From your description it sounded like he wasn't choking on this, any choking requires a hospital trip pronto, some cases by ambulance. Generally if he can breathe - we are reassured this little object has not moved into a choking or blocking his breathing situation xso if going to hospital going by car is fine. Remember - it is only in ONE nose so kids will breathe OK via the other nose.
So for a ( I shall say) apparently harmless appearing pea in the nose situtation, it does need to be removed pronto.
The things you did to try to remove the pea where good. things can happen - it will be stuck and cause an infection or 2 at some time the child might cough it down into there air passages. That would not cause urgent problems, it would cause him to get ?pneumonia from the object.
The issue is being this object is not where it is sposed to end up i.e it is not in the tummy
so I would definatly take him to the GP and ask for it to be removed. for inforation - anything like a pea's in the nose can be seen by a doctor by "direct visiualisation", it can be felt, and it shows up on ultrasound. If the pea has not in his nose the GP can reassure you that no harm is likely. However it is possible that a small pea might not be seen or felt so most GPs send you to the hospital. I worked at PMH in Perth and am a Paediatric nurse, dont worry dozeen's of other parents bring there kids to the ED with what we call "foreign objects' in all sorts of places, and it is not something we laugh about. I always try to use the snorting trick too, one tip - block the opposite nose with your finger and then get him to blow hard via the other nostril. Pea's usually get stuck cos they are round in shape too. For this age group I always mash my peas a bit so it is no longer a nice round shape. For this age group as you have found any body opening is OKJ to stick food it, they just don't know that its not the right thing ( eventually they grow out of this but it is happens up to about 3 or 4 years of age)
I did read a journal paper about a teenager who had sinus probs for years and finally that was found to be due to a small piece of lodged peanut in her nose about 10 yrs before so get it checked out properly and you will feel much better.
This is NOT a sit com situation - its called real life and those of us who have been around it longer, there is one guarantee in life
Kds will do the darnest things
I also focus on a positive - your child is displaying good healthy attitude to exploring things, which is age- apropriate behaviour and no cause for parental alarm. You are definatly not the only one
My son ate rat poison one year and had to be rushed to hospital, his paternal gran put it out and he picked it up and ate it. Scariest moment ever
First aid trainging can help too, the things you guys did are all in the first aid book plus blocking one nose then snorting it out
so hope I have reassured you a bit
take care

Ann - posted on 12/12/2011

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My granddaughter was forever putting things up her nose when she was this age. DO NOT WASTE TIME!! Take your child to the doctor as soon as you can get an appointment,. Items left unattended in the nostril can cause severe damage. The first time we took her in she had a bead, a pea, and a marble all up her nose. These items left unattended could have caused sever sinus infection and possible surgery to correct. So please take your child to see the doctor.

Helen - posted on 12/09/2011

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Hi Elfrieda, I hope I'm not the only one who smiled and laughed at your question!! I am not laughing at the potential seriousness by any means but you haven't half made me smile! I would do the many fabulous things suggested by these lovely helpful ladies, (personally, apart from blowing in the mouth) but def take him to A&E. Lots of luck! :-)

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Ashleigh - posted on 12/09/2011

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Don't worry too much. You should definitely take him in to be looked at, but it's not the end of the world. My son stuck a soda can top up his nose once! lol It turned out to be okay. He went to the doctor and had it removed, but I think it scared him a bit. The ridiculous part was the fact that this didn't happen when he was 2 or 3...it happened when he was 7!

Stephanie - posted on 12/08/2011

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My daughter put a bead up her nose about a year ago when she was 2. It scared the living heck out of me and it was so lodged up there I couldn't get it out myself. I called her pediatrician and she told me to bring her in right away. Fortunetly, she was able to take the bead out with a tool she had (plastic thing with a hook at the end) and it was no problem to my daughter. She said that if she wasn't able to take it out she would have had to go to the ER and they would have taken it out. I think if the pea hasn't come out and you guys are still worried about it, you should def take him in just in case.
I too am a worry wart like you. However, it's always better to be safe than sorry.

Avena - posted on 12/08/2011

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Btw , my son is getting married next week so this incident was long ago , thanx

Tracy - posted on 12/08/2011

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my boy did it with a seeded sunflower seed. I sprayed saline solution up there and it went right on through and swallowed it. If that doesnt work, you should take to see the doc. They have tiny tools to pull it out.

Avena - posted on 12/07/2011

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My son put a pea up His nose when he was a toddler , I'm not sure how long it was there but he started to stink and his nose got red, ultimately I took him to the doctor, doctor pulled out a sprouted pea and it was causing an invocation hence do not take this into your own hands absolutly take your child into either er or doc

Patty - posted on 12/07/2011

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One time I was giving my daughter a bath and she'd been having allergies/sinus issues.....so after she got into the steamy bath I plugged one side of her nose and said, "Hand it over!" (what I meant was hand over the boogers) What came out was a piece of corn! I had no idea it was in there because of the underlying allergies...and I had no idea when it became lodged.... Surely he'll be able to blow it out, if not...a little suction from a nasal aspirator might help. And if he seems to not be able to breathe, just take him to the doc where you can all have a good laugh :-)

Catharine - posted on 12/07/2011

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My daughter did the same thing with a baked bean at a similar age - have you tried pinching the top of his nose - this worked with the bean, it came out a treat :)

Melissa - posted on 12/07/2011

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When my daughter put bread up her nose at 26 months her pediatrician said as long as she was breathing fine her body would probably take care of it itself, if it got infected i.e. green mucus then he would take it out.

Adrienne - posted on 12/07/2011

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My son did this at around the same age. I took him in and the Urgent Care doc had me do exactly what Karen described. And for those who feel dumb for taking their kid in for sticking something up their nose - Don't. The staff at the UCC (one of them a close friend) see this all of the time. They're a)used to it b)amused by it - much better than a lot of the visits they get and c) would rather you come in right away than wait until there's an infection to deal with.

Laree - posted on 12/07/2011

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can be but mostly it can rot in there,this happened to a friend of mines daughter,stuck a baby carrot up her nose,said one day she noticed her daughter smelled funny and after awhile found out the carrot rotted up there,miy son stuck a penny up his nose,thats dangerous it can go up to the brain and cause problems,I'd still call your doctor ask the nurse if they eed to have him come in and them to remove it.

Sara - posted on 12/07/2011

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Do you not have a nasal bulb? For when they are really stuffed up with snot, you cover a nostril and put this bulb type thing part in the other nostril and pump it. It sucks the snot out ( rank, I know) see if you can get hold of one. Or if you dont know what one is, google it? Goodluck xx

Erica - posted on 12/07/2011

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Oops read that wrong. Well blowing in the mouth can cause the same problem. If the airway is blocked the extra air can build up in the lungs. I'm glad he's ok, I was thinking just snot. I agree that you don't always have to run to the doctor. If it happened again I would use Erin's advise.

Erin - posted on 12/06/2011

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My daughter started doing this about this age but she preferred dried fruit. I would use sinu-rinse for kids so the fruit would enlarge and become a snotty type substance and pull out what I could. The rest would work it's way out in a day or so. On our next trip to the pediatrician he said that was fine. If it was a rock or something it would have been different. My thoughts were this: if you're eating something and laugh, or throw-up sometimes it goes up into your sinus cavities anyhow and has to work it's way out the same way a piece of food would if you shoved it in the other way. I just kept her lubricated with the rinse and that helped her sinuses clean themselves out. She got so used to the spray she asks for it when she's stuffy because she likes the tickle that it gives her. She even does it for herself from time to time, which helps alot during cold season.

Elfrieda - posted on 12/06/2011

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My husband doesn't think he did put a pea up his nose. He thinks he was just picking his nose, especially since he hasn't been complaining since. I don't know what to think. I'd like to agree that it's nothing, but if it's not and it does fester, that would be terrible. I know I've gotten a bit paranoid since my son was born... I never used to worry about things - it was always "It'll work itself out!" Now I'm so often a wreck. It's such a huge responsibility to take care of a life like this.



On the other hand, since I can't see anything up there (we got out the flashlight and everything, all that I saw earlier this morning was some dried up snot), what would the dr be able to do anyway? Probably poke around with a flashlight and something sharp, and it would probably scare my baby without being useful. It would be an hour wait for "well, keep an eye on it", and I hate bringing my son into dr offices and hospitals because I'm afraid he'll catch something.



As you can see, I'm not convinced one way or the other! I blew into his mouth and snot came out his nostril! (no pea) He thought it was funny. He's such a happy-go-lucky kid. I hope he just has a cold, and that's why his nose felt funny. :( I don't know!



Okay, thanks for caring and listening to me blather on. I'm going to keep a watchful eye on it. Maybe I'll call Telehealth, see what they think. Sometimes they have good advice.

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I think I'd be taking him in.

Kids and the things they come up with, huh? Over the summer my son swallowed a penny. He had it in his mouth cuz 'it was safe in there.' He was w/ his dad when it happened and I was SO freaked out... and ticked that his dad didn't take him to the doctor. Thankfully he's all good though.

If you DON'T take your son in asap... REALLY be on the lookout for any sign of infection. I think it'd be a lot better to know for sure before it gets to that point though.

Erica - posted on 12/06/2011

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Well blowing in the nose can overextend the lungs and cause a pneumothorax. I recommend a pediatrician visit.

Elfrieda - posted on 12/06/2011

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I will try that when he wakes up from his nap, Karen! It's a good plan. I'll let you know how it works out.

Amy - posted on 12/06/2011

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I also wouldn't wait either. You're taking a chance that he pushes it back up again.

Elfrieda - posted on 12/06/2011

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Oh, gross! I think I'll wait another day, because I think I can see it coming down. Maybe his body will be able to expel it. Thanks, all.

Amy - posted on 12/06/2011

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My son did this as well we had to go to the er to have them pull it out with tweezers. It's not something you should wait on because it can turn into an infection, and they don't really recommend trying to remove it yourself because you can lodge it further up in there.

Tara - posted on 12/06/2011

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It can cause serious infection. My sister did it once with wadded up paper and had to have the rotting paper pulled out of her nose at the ER.

Kate CP - posted on 12/05/2011

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My daughter did this once. But it wasn't just one pea, OH NO! She shoved 7 peas up her nose. I pulled those puppies out with a set of medical tweezers. If you're not sure, take him in tomorrow morning and have the doc look up there. If there is an organic foreign body in the sinus cavity it can cause serious issues and infection if left alone.

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