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Go Ask Mom

Duke Medicine: Kids stash the darndest things

Posted February 4, 2013

On occasion, one of my kids will present me with a particularly challenging problem, and I know exactly what to do. So rare and so perfect are these moments that I remember them with great detail for long after.

Like the time nearly two years ago when my son, then three years old, came to me with a popcorn kernel lodged too far up his nose to grab. I didn’t hesitate.

"Let’s do this,” I said to him, as I pinched closed the unaffected nostril, placed my mouth over his, and blew a sharp puff of air.

I’m not sure why my son erupted into giggles a second later. It could have been that this medical maneuver tickled, or it could have been the sight of my face covered with “collateral”— and one popcorn kernel.

I was able to be Mom of the Year at this moment because just a week prior I had seen Ben Linthicum, nurse practitioner at Duke Urgent Care Hillandale (for an unrelated problem).

We got on the subject of kids leaving their things where they shouldn’t — such as up noses — and he clued me in to the blowing trick (which actually has both a cutesy name, the “kiss technique,” and a fancy medical one, “positive-pressure expulsion," I later learned from Jennifer Swanson, MD, medical director for Duke Urgent Care).

Swanson told me more tips about dealing with foreign objects in various places, some cautions, and a few eye-openers.

For more tips, read the full post at Duke Medicine, Go Ask Mom's sponsor, offers health tips and information every Tuesday.

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  • Terkel Feb 5, 2013

    The unnecessary grossness of "collateral" reminded me of why I always used to cringe at work when the mommies would head for my table in the cafeteria. It was a sure bet they'd talk about snot or diapers.