I love to learn, but my knowledge, especially as a mother, is too often gained the "hard way". I have three children, the oldest is five years old, and I had yet to deal with the whole foreign object inserted in body part issue...UNTIL...this week.
This week, my five-year old son inserted a popcorn kernel in his ear canal and I had NO idea what to do. I'll spare you the nitty gritty details (if you're dying to hear them, click HERE), but I'll dish the advice I have gained after going through this little experience. Maybe I can save you the pain of paying for a visit to the doctor's office, Urgent Care, or Emergency Room to remove the dirty, rotten, no-good foreign object.
*The very FIRST thing you should do is remain calm. Your child can panic if he/she sees you getting flustered. Obviously, remain calm so as not to scare your child, but also remember: A panicky child is a squirmy and uncooperative child. If they grow hysterical, it will make removal of foreign objects that much more impossible.
*The very other FIRST thing (I know. I gave you two "FIRSTS", but moms are good at multi-tasking. You can do it!) you should do when you recognize that your child has put something in his ear (or nose) is....STOP AND THINK! Assess the situation before you touch anything. You can make it worse even when you are trying to make it better. Trust me. I learned this one the hard way.
After you've done these two things, you still have the task of removal ahead of you. Hopefully, it will be easier with my first two tips, but you still need to get that thing outta there.
I am now an expert on popcorn-kernel-in-ear, but I imagine you could use these tips for other objects as well.
*With child's head tipped with the affected ear towards ground, grasp the upper portion of the ear and gently pull up and out. This can change the shape of the ear canal. Try wiggling the ear a few times to see if the object will fall out on its own.
*Apply some superglue to the tip of a toothpick. Carefully insert toothpick and gently touch glue to object. Allow time to dry and slowly pull object out.
*If these two things haven't worked, construct this tool (Sorry about the crude drawing! Doesn't the pretty border make up for my lack of artistic skills though? Haha!) :
This is what our doctor used to remove the kernel from my son's ear in two seconds. It looked like a dental tool, but I bet it wouldn't be too difficult to rig. You could use a pencil and some crafting wire (a paperclip would probably be too thick of wire) or some fishing line.
Other methods that were unsuccessful for us, but might work for you:
*Use a bulb syringe or straw to gently suck it out
If all else fails, PRAY! and make your way to the doctor's office. Surprisingly, removal may not be as emergent as you think. In our situation, the doctor's office was fifteen minutes from closing time and I didn't have a car to get us there. Of course this isn't "official" medical advice, but our pediatrician's office told us that as long as it wasn't bothering him, we could wait until the morning to have him seen. If he was uncomfortable, he needed to be seen at Urgent Care as soon as possible.
Have you had experience with this little predicament before? What did YOU do??
Have any other tips for getting stuff out of ears OR noses? We'd love to hear it!