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4 Things Toddlers Like to Put in Their Nose

things toddlers put in their nose

Toddlers sometimes do things that make no sense, such as sticking things up their noses. For the most part, when a child does this it’s easy to get out through safe, gentle means.

However, sometimes children end up shoving items deep enough into the nose to create a serious problem. These are among the most popular things for toddlers to load into their sinuses


Despite the fact that kids, including toddlers, have access to the safest set of hi-tech toys in human history, the old classics such as marbles still command attention. Toddlers in particular are drawn to marbles because of their shiny surface and the way they click together while rolling upon a surface. Even if marbles seem a bit too big to fit up your child’s nose, the smoothness of the orb makes it possible for your child to do so.

Breakfast Cereal

A wide variety of breakfast cereals (including Lucky Charms, Cocoa Puffs, and Cheerios) can cause an obstruction in your child’s nose. Any sort of small, round shape that fits in the aperture of the nose is a candidate to get pushed up the nasal cavity. Sometimes the availability of breakfast cereals in family homes ends up being too tempting for some toddlers to avoid.


For whatever reason, plenty of kids seem to strongly dislike the taste of peas, whether they’re served up for lunch or dinner. Your child may actually hate peas so much that they’re willing to hide them anywhere to avoid eating them. On the other hand, even kids who do like peas may end up simply playing with their food, perhaps competing to see how many peas they can shove up their noses to set a new personal record.


While plenty of fun and a great way to encourage artistic growth and education, beads are the number one culprit according to medical professionals who have to fish things out of children’s noses. The shape and size of beads are perfect for insertion, and their smooth shape makes them easily inhaled further into the nose than expected.

Why Do Some Toddlers Put Things Up Their Noses?

As children grow, they learn more about their environment though basic experimentation, including tests they conduct involving their own noses. This is the same type of play that causes a toddler to break a toy against the floor for seemingly no reason, or dump a bunch of styrofoam into your toilet and flush. Your toddler doesn’t yet know that sticking things up their nose isn’t the best way to proceed in life. As the child becomes older, it’s more likely that playing with the nose is a simple, mindless behavior, instead of being in an exploratory phase of their life.

What Should I Do?

In cases where the object is visible, you may attempt to gently remove the item by using a pair of sterile tweezers. If you can’t see where the object is stuck in the nose, ask your toddler to blow their nose while you press against the side of the nose without the obstruction, which may help it become dislodged.

When the item cannot be removed, you’ll need to visit a doctor to get it removed. Also, if your child frequently puts things up their nose, they may end up creating other health issues that must be dealt with.

ENT Specialists Help Toddlers Stay Healthy

The health of your child’s nose, ears and throat is vital to their development, especially when faced with health and developmental in the long term.

Houston Sinus & Allergy specializes in treating nasal and sinus conditions and providing allergy care. Our practice is committed to helping you find long term relief from your symptoms. Dr. Nguyen is a Board Certified ENT – Head and Neck Surgeon with extensive training & experience in diseases of the ears, nose & throat.

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