- Mouth – Babies love tasting things. You will often see them licking objects around them and slurping their tongue on surfaces.
To avoid ingestion of harmful objects like medicines, repellents, disinfectants, other harmful objects like batteries or magnets, you should lock up all harmful objects and keep them away from the reach of your children.
Childproof your house and remove all dangerous objects that may include make-up items, coins, glass objects, house plants, pesticides, paint items, oils, pins, and perfumes etcetera.
Symptoms when foreign bodies enter your child’s mouth could be:
- First symptoms would be choking, and inability to cry, cough, speak properly
- Breathlessness and blue lips and skin
- Drowsiness and vomiting
- Diarrhoea and stomach pain
- Pain or burning sensation in your child’s mouth
- Loss of appetite and difficulty in swallowing
- Seizures and unconsciousnessSometimes, the foreign object does not stay lodged in the food-pipe but passes down on to the infant’s stomach. Your baby may then gag, retch, refuse to eat, and drool more than usual.
The moment you detect or even think that your baby may have swallowed or ingested a harmful object, rush him to the doctor. Do not wait for symptoms to show up or grow strong. Unless you treat the condition with immediate urgency, things can go out of hand and even prove to be fatal in extreme cases.
- Ears – Babies can insert any harmful object (some have been mentioned above) in their ears ranging from their toys to any household articles that they find lying around. Sometime, even parents or caregiver tend to insert ear-cleansing buds to clean their baby’s ears. Do not use ear-cleansing buds to clean a baby’s ear.
Foreign objects, especially sharp-edged ones, can perforate your baby’s eardrums and even make him permanently deaf. In some cases, even small flies or mosquitoes can get trapped in the infant’s ear canal. Seek professional help in that case who can use tweezers carefully to extract the foreign object.
Symptoms in case of the presence of any foreign objects would typically include loud cries and incessant whining, ear pain, irritability, uneasiness, problem in hearing, build-up on the outer part of the ear canal.
In all these cases, refrain from using any oil or any medicine on your own on your child. Contact a child specialist immediately so that he can carry out tests or observe the inner region of the ear and prescribe appropriate medication.
- Nose – Curious babies, who wish to smell different objects or unmindful infants at play, can end up inserting objects lying around them in their nostrils.
Some common household objects that a baby may mistakenly put in his nose are small toys, pieces of eraser, tissue, playing clay or dough, food, pebbles, dirt, paired disc magnets, and button batteries among other things.
Common symptoms would typically include nasal drainage (clear, bloody, or gray), breathing difficulty, restless, breathlessness, crying, whining and shrieking, irritability and fussiness.
Again, one must not take charge of things on their own when they see their child suffering from a probable nose injury caused due to a foreign particle.
Do not try to use cotton swabs or tweezers to extract the object from the nose, as it carries the risk of both damaging the tissues and blood veins in the nose, and also pushing the object further inside the nasal passage – causing immediate choking.
Rather take him to the doctor immediately. They will have more sophisticated instruments to deal with the crisis.
- Eyes – The probability of your baby insert something into his eyes, either out of curiosity or by mistake, is much less. That’s because, as a reflex action, our eyes would automatically shut when brought really close to a foreign object.
However, there may be instances that dust, small rock particles, sand, pollen, any granular substance, or even remains of kajal enter the eye and cause harm. Kajal contains high amounts of lead and hence they aren’t suitable for application on infants.
Symptoms would involve itchiness, redness of the eyes, swollen eyes, watering of the eye, crying, irritability and fussiness, and even change in colour of the white portion in the eye.
Again, do not try carrying out an operation yourself. The eye is an extremely sensitive and vital organ, and hence strict care and caution needs to be maintained. Rush your child to an eye doctor or a child specialist immediately.
Meanwhile, keep your baby from rubbing his eyes as it may lead to abrasions in the eye when the foreign particle scratches the cornea. You can however blow into a handkerchief, and use the heated region to soothe the area around the eyes.