"Mother's Kiss" May Clear a Kid's Nose

Children with objects stuck in noses may avoid medical intervention with this technique

(RxWiki News) So your kid stuck a macaroni up his nose again. Now what? Another expensive trip to the emergency room? Actually a "mother's kiss" might really make it all better.

A recent study has found that a technique called "mother's kiss" is often effective — and safe — for getting objects out of children's nasal cavities.

"Consider a "mother's kiss"."

A "mother's kiss" in this context is not the same as an actual kiss. Instead, a parent or other trusted adult puts their mouth completely over a child's open mouth so that the touching mouths are sealed.

Then the adults holds closed the empty nostril with a finger and blows into the child's mouth. Ideally, the air will push the object out of the other nostril.

Dr. Stephanie Cook, of Buxted Medical Centre in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted the study on the safety and effectiveness of "mother's kisses" for this situation and based their findings on a review of eight case studies from the UK and Australia.

Case studies are medical papers usually written about only one patient or a handful of patients. They are not usually the best evidence for making determinations about treatment for larger groups.

However, if medical evidence is sparse or a condition is rare, case studies might be used until better data is available.

In this case, Dr. Cook and her colleagues looked at the effectiveness of this technique for children aged 1 to 8.

There were a total of 152 children involved across all eight studies, and the technique was effective for 91 of the children, for a success rate of 60 percent.

"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," the authors wrote. "In addition, it may prevent the need for general anesthesia in some cases."

Often, the technique might be performed more than once, and it should be explained to a child beforehand to prevent them from becoming scared.

One significant limitation of this study is that its findings could be skewed by "publication bias." In other words, the case studies might have been published because the technique worked in those situations while other case studies were not published when the technique did not work.

However, there is not other evidence to cause concern about the safety of this method at the present time. Therefore, this method could be attempted to clear a child's nostril.

If it works, it may prevent a child from having to receive painkillers for the extraction and/or to have forceps used to remove the object from their nose.

If the "mother's kiss" method not work, the parents or other adults should then seek professional medical attention to get the object out.

The researchers also suggested that future studies be done to compare different ways of applying pressure to get an object out of a child's nostrils.

The study was published October 15 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Information regarding funding was not provided, but the authors declare no competing interests.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
October 8, 2012