I just like the sound of this; a “mother’s kiss” can dislodge a foreign object in her kid’s nose. It doesn’t quite have that warm and fuzzy feeling of “there’s nothing sweeter than a mother’s kiss”, but it got my attention.
So, you’re probably wondering, “What the heck does a mother’s kiss have to do with anything stuck up a child’s nose?”
New research suggests that an old home remedy known as the “mother’s kiss” is reliable when it comes to removing a foreign object in a child’s nose. A “mother’s kiss” was first described in the mid-60s and here’s how it works.
1) The parent or caretaker places their mouth over their child’s mouth while holding the clear nostril closed with one finger.
2) The parent or caretaker blows into the child’s mouth.
3) The breath forces the object out of the blocked nostril.
That’s the goal anyway. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t but apparently most of the time it does.
The new study analyzed results from eight published reports where caregivers used the “mother’s kiss” on children aged 1 to 8. All in all, the technique was effective with no complications. The success rate approached 60%. The findings appear in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Children often put things up their nose, in their mouths, in their ears- anywhere there is an opening. Nina Shapiro, MD, of Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA in Los Angeles says the “mother’s kiss” can work. “It is more important that there were no adverse events such as bleeding or pushing the object further up the nostril.” According to the findings of this study, “the worst thing that can happen is that it doesn't work.”
Other physician’s say parents and caregivers should use caution when trying this old-fashion technique. Robert Glatter, MD, an emergency room doctor at Lenox Hill Hospital, in New York City says you shouldn’t try the “mother’s kiss” without medical supervision. “Children feel comfortable and are not threatened with this removal technique that we commonly utilize in the emergency department,” he says. It’s always best to do this in the presence of a doctor in case the object goes into the lungs. “This is rare, but could occur.”
If it works, there is no need for sedation or hooks, forceps, or suction to remove the objects.
In an emergency room, Glatter first finds out if parents are open to this approach. “The mom has to be brave,” he says. “Some parents want to try it and others are scared of it.”
It’s probably a good idea for parents and caregivers to know how to apply the “mother’s kiss” just in case a stray bean or penny ends up where it shouldn’t be. Discuss the “mother’s kiss” with your pediatrician or family doctor for specific instructions and safeguards.