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'Mother's kiss' Technique to Remove Foreign Objects From Children's Noses, Study Suggests

Update Date: Oct 16, 2012 08:50 AM EDT

Many a children have the habit of shoving little toys or things lying around in the house into their nostrils or ears. Though the act sounds cute, the consequences of doing so can be disastrous and parents need to pay attention to what their child is doing, in order to prevent such a situation. Once an object is stuck in the nasal passage of the child, the challenge for the parent is to remove the object out, as safely as possible. While running to the hospital seems like the first feasible option, a technique called the "mother's kiss" for removing foreign objects from the nasal passages of young children appears to be a safe and effective approach, a new study has found.

"The mother's kiss appears to be a safe and effective technique for first-line treatment in the removal of a foreign body from the nasal cavity," writes Dr. Stephanie Cook, Buxted Medical Centre, Buxted, United Kingdom, with coauthors. "In addition, it may prevent the need for general anesthesia in some cases."

The technique, which is known since the 1960s is not widely used, but has proven effective in preventing the usage of more invasive measures such as hook or forceps in order to remove objects from the child's nasal cavity.

The technique "mother's kiss" involves either the child's mother or a trusted relative covering the child's mouth with her mouth to form a seal, blocking the clear nostril with her finger then blowing into the mouth.

The pressure induced from the breath may push the object out. While doing so, the parent must explain the procedure to the child, to ensure that the child is not frightened. Also, the technique can be practiced under the guidance of a medical professional and can be repeated several times.

For the study, researchers from the United Kingdom and Australia included 8 case studies in a systematic review to determine whether the technique was effective in children aged 1 to 8 years.

The findings revealed that the procedure is effective with no cases of any adverse events. However, researchers note that the positive results tend to be published more often than negative results. This could affect the available evidence.

More studies need to be conducted to compare various positive-pressure techniques and to test their efficacy in different situations.

The study was published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

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