UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Pediatrics

Title: Nasal foreign body removal

Posted: 12/15/2012 by Mimi Lu, MD (Emailed: 12/21/2012) (Updated: 12/21/2012)
Click here to contact Mimi Lu, MD

Parents bring in their child who placed a bead, seed, or other object up her nose.  What do you do?  Who should you call?

Research suggests that a decades-old home remedy (of sorts) known as the “mother’s kiss” may do the trick for children 1-8 years of age. It’s also much less invasive or frightening than some of the tools and techniques used in emergency departments with a success rate approaching 60%

What Is the “Mother’s Kiss”?

First described in 1965, here’s how the mother’s kiss technique works:

  • The parent or caretaker places their mouth over their child’s mouth while holding the unaffected nostril closed with one finger.
  • The parent or caretaker blows into the child’s mouth.
  • The forceful breath may force the object out (warning: may want to wear protective covering as other things have been known to fly out as well!)


Cook S, Burton M, Glasziou P. Efficacy and safety of the "mother's kiss" technique: a systematic review of case reports and case series. CMAJ.2012 Nov 20;184(17):E904-12. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.111864. Epub 2012 Oct 15.