Putting foreign objects in the nose or ear

Now that your baby is exploring the world around them, they will be interested in all the little things they find. They may also like to explore where they can put them, like up their nose or in their ear.

Objects can block the nose and, in some cases, cause infection. You might notice that your baby has difficult or noisy breathing, swelling of their nose or a smelly or blood-stained discharge from their nose.

Babies may also put objects in their ear, or insects may fly or crawl into the ear. If a foreign object gets lodged in the ear, it may cause temporary deafness by blocking the ear canal or in some cases it may damage the ear drum.

Watch our video - what to do if your baby has a foreign object in their nose or ear

If your baby has an object in their nose:

1. Don’t try to remove the object.

2. Keep them calm. Get them to breathe through their mouth and stop them from poking their nose.

3. Take them to see a healthcare professional who should be able to safely remove the object.

If your baby has an object in their ear:

Reassure your babyIf there is an insect in the ear, gently flood the ear with warm water

1. Don’t try to remove the object yourself. Take your baby to see a healthcare professional as soon as possible.

2. Reassure your baby and try to keep them calm.

3. If an insect has found its way into the ear, you could support your baby’s head with the affected ear facing up. Gently flood the ear with slightly warm water; the insect should float out. If this doesn’t work, take your baby to see a healthcare professional.

Related pages

Trapped fingers

Trapped fingers - baby first aid

Choking

Baby choking

Baby first aid course

Learn simple, life saving skills, taught in line with babies' developmental stages.

Baby first aid course