Help! My Child Got Food Stuck Up His Nose!

Posted on Jun 27 2011 - 8:30am by Christine

No, this isn’t a message we received from a visitor to our site – it was actually something that happened to OUR little one last week! We decided to share the story and solution here, in case you ever find yourself in the same unfortunate (and panicky!) predicament.

Our youngest family member – Joe – is now two years old and last week we gave him a bowl of one of his favourite snacks… dried blueberries.

He was happily eating away, when all of a sudden he started rubbing his nose and saying ‘burning’. At first we couldn’t think what he meant – then the nasty suspicion dawned on us that perhaps he’d somehow managed to get one of those blueberries up his nose.

My child has food stuck in his nose

We had a look and there was nothing to see – we even felt the outside of his nose to see if we could detect the bulge of a berry underneath… nothing!

But after about 15 minutes we noticed the tell-tale sign of an object lodged in the nose – the nostril on that side was running (you don’t have 5 kids without picking up a trick or two!).

Now we were concerned.

For one thing, we knew that the berry up his nose (was he smelling it? – we’ll never know!) was dried. This meant that it would slowly begin to rehydrate… and grow larger! The other problem was that we live on a very small island, with just one little medical clinic – and the only nurse was off the island that day.

We knew better than try to poke anything up Joe’s nose – the danger with doing that is that you can push the object further up. We also knew that an object lodged in a child’s nose – funny though it may sound – is actually a serious matter that needs to be dealt with.

We tried getting him to sniff pepper to make him sneeze and he DID sniff the pepper, but showed a remarkable tolerance to it by not sneezing once!

So then we searched for a solution on line, but the main consensus seemed to be that the force of a sneeze was definitely required to shift the berry. Some sites suggested encouraging the child to simply blow really hard through the affected nostril, but Joe was simply too young to understand what we were trying to get him to do.

Then – thank goodness – we came across this page from emedicinehealth.com, which states

A parent or caregiver can attempt to remove the object by sealing their mouth over the child’s mouth and closing the unaffected nostril with their fingers. Blowing a quick puff of air into the child’s mouth has frequently resulted in the object coming out the nostril

The purpose of our post today is to tell you that this marvellous piece of advice works wonderfully! It took just a second or two, the berry practically flew out of Joe’s nose and the emergency was over – no traumatic trip to the hospital on the mainland required!

Of course, if you live near a medical centre then the prospect of seeking medical assistance may not be as daunting as it was for us that day – but we still think this is a handy tip to be aware of should your little one ever get the urge to sniff a dried blueberry or try to discover what other objects his little nostrils will accommodate!

NOTE: This post is not intended to replace medical advice – please speak to your doctor if you are concerned that your child may have any object lodged in his nose.

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19 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. JadeLouise Designs March 10, 2012 at 12:49 pm -

    WOW, that is both scary and a little funny at the same time! I’m so glad you were able to avoid any trauma and that you were able to get the blueberry out without any harm!

  2. Courtney May 24, 2014 at 9:14 pm -

    Oh my goodness thank you so much. My daughter got food stuck up her nose where you couldn’t see it to grab with tweezers my husband blew in her mouth 2 times and it flew out.!! THANK YOU SOOO MUCH this saved our entire weekend!!!!

  3. Sara February 20, 2015 at 2:55 am -

    Hi! I’m so glad I found this site. My daughter just shoved a price of mince beef into her nose just now! She felt so uncomfortable she pushed a spoon after it but it of course got lodged further up! And I tried the method you mentioned and it flew out from her nose! Thank you! I

  4. Melissa July 7, 2015 at 11:47 am -

    This worked wonders! My 2 year old stuck a piece of macaroni up his nose. I did this and the piece flew right out! A little gross but he thought it was hilarious.

  5. Monica October 4, 2015 at 9:48 pm -

    Thank you!!!! IT WORKED!!!!!! My 1 year old keeps putting food on her nose and I knew she still had some in there…So I did what you recommended and it worked perfectly!!!! I can’t THANK YOU enough!! I wish I could post the picture of what came out of her nose!

  6. Melissa January 8, 2016 at 12:09 pm -

    I am so thankful for this post!! I was looking everywhere and panicking. I tried using the nose syringe and tweezers and the food in my 1 year olds nose kept getting pushed further and further back. I was so scared! Thank you for this advice it worked so well the food practically flew out of her nose!

  7. Joe January 9, 2016 at 12:30 pm -

    This blog post just saved me $300! Thanks! Got the cooked macaroni noodle right out of there!

  8. Josie October 27, 2016 at 2:30 am -

    Thanks for this post! My son just shoved a bunch of couscous up his nose. Got a few pieces out but there were a few pieces stuck to far in. This trick got them right out!

  9. Christine October 31, 2016 at 8:33 am -

    So happy it helped 🙂

  10. Lolitta December 4, 2016 at 7:43 pm -

    Thank you so much. This method works perfectly, it came out after two gentle blow. My 2 years old daughter stuck bread up her nose. She was so uncomfortable with one nostril blocked. Tweezer would have work but the bread was pushed too far up with her little fingers.Thank you for sharing…

  11. Christine December 5, 2016 at 2:20 pm -

    You’re welcome Lolitta 🙂 Happy it helped.

  12. CHRIS April 19, 2017 at 12:42 am -

    You are genius

    My little guy had chicken stuck up his nose. I was headed for the ER.
    Did the blow In one nostril followed up with hydrasense, came out in a snap

    Thank you my dear this is a great tip

  13. Christine May 8, 2017 at 11:13 am -

    You are welcome Chris 🙂

  14. mercy June 5, 2017 at 6:05 pm -

    am so relived, this post really works wonders.my 1year baby shoved a tomatoe peel in her nose and I was really scared.Thank you

  15. Christine June 6, 2017 at 2:44 pm -

    You’re very welcome Mercy.

  16. Rebeka August 20, 2017 at 5:08 pm -

    Thank you so much! It was a grain of rice for us… son was really uncomfortable with it, as I started to research in panic I found your tip, which worked like a charm. He said “again, again!”

  17. Christine August 21, 2017 at 7:36 am -

    Haha! So glad it worked for you Rebeka 🙂

  18. Annette September 12, 2017 at 3:36 pm -

    Thank you for sparing my daughter a huge Dr. bill. I read her your instructions over the phone and it took 3 breaths but the pretzel came out. Amazing! Now we know! I will say I had my doubts but it worked like a charm! Thank you again for posting!!!!

  19. Christine September 12, 2017 at 4:57 pm -

    You are very welcome Annette – so happy to help 🙂

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