Source: By: Kristin Hayes, RN

The first time your child gets something stuck up their nose may be a frightening experience. This is known as a foreign object nasal obstruction. This usually happens to curious children who just happen to think it might be a good idea to see if a watermelon seed might sprout up there.

Kids naturally have the curiosity to put things where they don’t belong. They rearrange your cupboards, put things in power outlets, and they even put things up their nose. Sometimes, they will tell you that something is in their nose. While at other times, your children might put things in their nose and then forget about it.

How to Know Your Child Has Something Stuck up Their Nose

Sometimes, the objects that are shoved up your child's nose will be large enough that you can see the object. However, sometimes the objects will be small enough that you will not know unless your child tells you. So how will you know that the foreign object is up there? A few signs to watch for include:

Nasal congestion on one side Bloody nosesBad breath (halitosis)

What to Do

Once you've established that something is indeed up your child's nose, here are a few suggestions that you can use to get the object out.

Don't pull it out unless it is hanging out of the nose, safely within reach, and you are certain it has not damaged any tissue.Do not try to remove items in the nose using cotton swabs, tweezers, or other household items. Doing so may push the object further up the nose.If your child is old enough to understand, advise him to breathe through his mouth as not to suck the object up further.In an attempt to blow the object out, have your child close the clear nostril and lightly blow out. Be careful not to forcefully blow out or accidentally inhale through the nose while doing this. One or two tries should be sufficient if this method will work. Repeatedly trying may cause more damage to the nose.Seek medical help at once if you cannot dislodge or see the object.

One method that has been trialed in Canada and England includes the Mother's or Parent's Kiss. The term "kiss" is used to help reduce the stress of the procedure with your child. This may be less stressful than being restrained in the hospital if your child is resistant. No adverse complications have been noted in eight trials, so this should be safe if performed carefully, however it is only effective approximately six out of 10 times. To perform this:

What for your child to inhale.When your child is exhaling, close the nostril that does not have the foreign object."Kiss" your child using a technique like a mouth-to-mouth.Blow out until you feel resistance. This means the glottis (opening between the vocal cords) has closed.Then use a quick blow to try and push the object out of your child's nose.

What to Expect at the Hospital

The hospital will have specialized equipment including suction, hooks, glues, and catheters. Each technique can have some risk for trauma if the objects are severely wedged, however, the emergency department team will be prepared to treat nosebleeds that occur from the procedure. While the hospital may use suction, you should never use a vacuum cleaner to try and remove a foreign object. If the doctor suspects that a foreign object was swallowed, they will likely have an X-ray of the chest and abdomen done to see if there are any objects in the lungs or stomach. Sharp objects that are ingested are particularly dangerous and would require surgery.


Of course, prevention is the best course of action. There is no perfectly childproofed home. But you can try to keep smaller objects out of your child’s roaming area in order to help prevent this from happening. Education is also key. Try to teach children that other than eating, things do not belong in our mouths, ears, or nose.

Source: By: Kristin Hayes, RN


Source: By Kristin Hayes, RN |

Coughing is a natural reflex that is important in keeping your lungs and airways clear and functioning properly. While coughing is often not bothersome, a persistent cough that does not seem to go away is both bothersome and may be related to an illness.

There are three different types of coughs: acute, subacute and chronic.

Acute Cough

Acute coughs usually only last up to about three weeks and are usually caused by a virus. This cough may be either productive (produces mucus) or non-productive (dry, no mucus). An acute cough is usually caused by the following illnesses:

Cold Flu Pneumonia Sinus infection Croup Whooping cough Bronchitis Pulmonary embolism

Unfortunately, studies have not found existing treatments for acute coughs to be effective. In fact, there is a movement away from even using cough suppressants to ease your symptoms unless a cough is causing other problems.

If the cause is a treatable bacterial infection like pneumonia, then antibiotics would be the proper treatment to help fight the underlying cause of a cough. In most cases of an acute cough, however, the cause is a virus and your body must fight off the infection on its own. Talk to your doctor about your specific circumstance and if any treatment options will be beneficial for you.

Subacute Cough

Subacute coughs typically last between three to eight weeks. A subacute cough may need to be evaluated by a physician depending upon the severity of symptoms, as 60 percent of subacute coughs spontaneously resolve. In other words, there's a pretty good chance of a subacute cough going away on its own.

Common causes of a subacute cough include:

A post-infectious cough (most common) Post-nasal drip Cough-variant asthma Eosinophilic bronchitis

If your physician suspects that the cause of your subacute cough is a post-infectious cough or postnasal drip, he may prescribe antihistamines plus a decongestant (such as chlorpheniramine and pseudoephedrine) for approximately three weeks to see if a cough will clear up.

Chronic Cough

Chronic coughs last longer than eight weeks. Causes of a chronic cough can sometimes be difficult to pin down. To help isolate the cause of your chronic cough, your doctor may find it necessary to run several tests or even recommend that you see another specialist.

The most common cause of a chronic cough is smoking, however other common causes include:

Asthma Allergies Post-nasal drip Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) COPDMedications, notably ACE inhibitors Heart failure Lung cancer (rare)

If you are a smoker, it is important for you to begin a smoking cessation program. Smoking not only will likely be the cause of your chronic cough but will also put you at risk of developing other health-related disorders. Get started today.

Treatment is targeted to the specific cause of a cough. Your physician will take a thorough history to look for likely causes of a cough.

If you are on ACE inhibitors for blood pressure, your physician may have you try an alternative medication to see if your cough resolves.

Your doctor might also want a chest X-ray and another test called spirometry to help figure out the cause of your cough. If the chest X-ray is abnormal, a high-resolution CT scan of the lungs and/or a bronchoscopy may be necessary.

Unfortunately, there are not many physicians willing to specialize in a chronic cough. Initially, you may find that you are referred to a pulmonologist to "work-up" or diagnose a chronic cough, but many of the best pulmonologists may be unwilling to see patients for a chronic cough and refer you to either a gastroenterologist or back to your primary care physician (PCP). Finding a physician you like that is willing to be patient is probably the key to success in treating your chronic cough.

When a Cough Is an Emergency

Because our cough reflex is natural and protective, sometimes it is our bodies way of letting us know of an impending emergency. If you have a sudden bout of coughing and have the potential for any of the following disorders, you should seek medical attention immediately.

Allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)Asthma or COPD exacerbation, when medications can't control the symptomsInhalation of a foreign objectPertussisPneumonia

In addition to coughing, you may also experience difficulty breathing, or other worrisome symptoms such as swelling of the tongue.

If you have problems breathing, especially if you are at risk for any of these emergent conditions you should not delay seeking medical treatment, as these can be life-threatening conditions.

To view this article visit: Source- By Kristin Hayes, RN |


Source: By Kristin Hayes, RN, Medically reviewed by Susan Olender, MD,

"What causes frequent bloody noses?" "What causes frequent bloody noses?"

Doctors hear this question a lot, especially from parents. They may report that their children sometimes bump their noses or fall down and get nosebleeds. While this can be distressing, at least these parents know the cause.

More concerning are nosebleeds that seem to happen without a cause. Sometimes children will wake up in the morning with blood on their pillows or dried blood around their nose or face. While the causes of this are numerous, the simple fact is that some people are more prone to frequent bloody noses, particularly during dry weather or as a result of habits they may not even be aware of.


The following conditions or illnesses make developing a bloody nose more likely:

Dry mucous membranes from low humidity or dehydration Very cold air Allergies Chemical irritants Frequent nose picking or rubbing Blowing your nose or sneezing too hard Overuse of nasal decongestant sprays Nasal infections Deviated septum Colds and other upper respiratory infections Inserting a foreign object into the nose Injury or trauma

Less common but often more serious causes of nosebleeds include:

High blood pressure Blood-thinning medications such as aspirin or warfarin Blood-clotting diseases, such as hemophilia Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT), a genetic disorder that leads to abnormal blood vessel formation Nasal or sinus tumors

Children tend to get bloody noses more than adults because they are more likely to pick or rub their noses or put foreign objects into their nostrils. With that being said, people of all ages can get bloody noses and need to be treated appropriately to stop the bleeding.

How to Stop a Nosebleed

If you or your child experiences a sudden nosebleed:

Sit down, rather than lying down, to reduce the blood flow. Pinch the soft part of the nose, just above the nostrils, for 10 to 15 minutes. Lean forward and breathe through the mouth so that the blood drains down the nose instead of the back of the throat. Placing an ice pack on the bridge of the nose can also help. 

If a nosebleed doesn't stop after 20 minutes, see a doctor immediately or go to your nearest emergency room. This is especially true if the bleeding is profuse, was caused by a blow to the face, or is causing dizziness or fainting.


Managing the underlying causes of frequent bloody noses is likely to be the most effective way to keep them from recurring. Sometimes this approach may need to be combined with other treatments.

There's limited research on the treatment of frequent bloody noses. However, the American Academy of Otolaryngology recently released a study reviewing different treatment options. The research shows that chemical cauterization (spraying a chemical into the nose to shrink blood vessels), surgical ligation (tying-off a burst blood vessel in the nose), embolization (blocking bleeding blood vessels) were most likely to keep bloody noses from recurring long-term.

Patients who underwent these procedures had better results and shorter hospital stays than patients with bloody noses who were treated with, for example, nose packing.

Despite its efficacy, nasal embolization carries the risk of stroke, ophthalmoplegia (restriction of eye movement), facial palsy, and hematomas (blood clots). Speak with your doctor to understand the benefits and risks of the procedure


Not all nosebleeds can be prevented. But, if you're experiencing frequent bloody noses, here are some things you can try that may reduce their number and/or severity:

Use a cool-mist humidifier placed near the bed while you sleep. Try an over-the-counter saline nasal spray (but avoid inserting the tip too far up the nose as this can further damage tissues). Use a neti pot. Treat any underlying allergy or nasal infection. Try not to rub or pick your nose. Clip your child's fingernails regularly.

Source: By Kristin Hayes, RN, Medically reviewed by Susan Olender, MD,