Parents September 1, 2013
My kid is constantly putting small objects into her nose and ears. Why? Beans. Cotton balls. Crayons. Coins. Batteries. "You name it, we find it in a toddler's ears, nose, and mouth," says UTMB’s Dr. Patricia A. Rogers. To your toddler, fitting small items into her nose is no different than conquering the shape sorter. Plus, placing objects in body openings can be a self-soothing behavior like sucking one's thumb. While shoving a pea up her nostril isn't likely to cause any harm, small objects such as a button or a coin could get lodged in her throat and block her airway. Alkaline batteries are toxic, and swallowing two or more magnets can cause extensive internal injuries. "The greatest choking risk is in kids ages 7 months to 4 years," Rogers says. Her advice: Crawl around the rooms where your child plays and pick up all the small things you encounter. Otherwise, she will find them first.