How to Remove Peas From a Toddler's Nose

By Jess Jones

Almost without a doubt, your child will shove something up his or her nose that doesn't belong there. These objects can range from gum to nuts to marbles to peas. The good news is that peas are one of the easiest to remove because they are softer than most other items a child can put in his nostril.

Stay calm. If you get upset, your toddler will follow suit and it will be nearly impossible to get the pea out.

Use your flashlight to assess the situation. Look up each nostril to see if there are peas in one or both nostrils. If there are peas in both nostrils, take your child to the doctor immediately. Having both nostrils obstructed is much more likely to result in difficulty breathing.

If there is a pea in only one nostril, gently pinch the opposite nostril closed and have your child breathe out of his or her nose. Have a tissue ready to catch the pea.

Sprinkle a generous amount of pepper in your hand and hold it under your child's nose. Sneezing will most likely dislodge the pea(s).

If the pea(s) are still up there, try one last thing. Sit your child in an upright position. Use your fingers to gently pinch the opposite nostril and breathe into your child's mouth. This is similar to administering mouth-to-mouth, just more gently. Often, your breath will cause enough air pressure to shoot the pea(s) out of your toddler's nose.

If unsuccessful, take your son or daughter to his or her doctor. If at any time the child is having difficulty breathing, seek emergency help immediately.

Things You Will Need

  • Flashlight
  • Tissues
  • Black pepper

Tip

Never leave your child unattended while eating any food, especially small pieces that can fit up the nose or in the ear.

Warning

Never use tweezers to try to remove an obstruction. This can result in pushing it further into the sinus cavity and/or damage to tissue inside the nose.

If your child is not breathing normally, call 911 or take him or her to the local emergency room immediately.

If your child's nose starts bleeding, call 911 or take him or her to the local emergency room immediately.

About the Author

Jess Jones has been a freelance writer since 2005. She has been a featured contributing writer for "Curve Magazine" and she teaches English composition at a small college in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She received her Master of Arts in English language and literature in 2002.