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Why do kids put things in their ears (or other places)?

For some unknown reason, children put things in their ears or another orifice, like the nose, and yes, the rectum. Over the years, I have removed hundreds of objects — pencil erasers, beans, corn, jelly beans, coins, toys, and an assortment of gross/unidentifiable objects.

One of the most interesting objects occured in a 3 year old. The mother stated that he put a “toy” in his nose. When I inspected his nose with an otoscope, I was startled to see two tiny FEET! Using a foreign body forcep, I grasped these little feet and out came a tiny, little plastic baby. The horrified mother said, “Oh my God….that is the baby Jesus from my minature manger!”

Not that holidays play a significant role in these insertions, I also saw a home-schooled ten year old with severe constipation a few Easters ago. The prescription of laxatives did not relieve the problem, so I had to inspect his rectum after 3-4 days without a bowel movement. A simple digital exam of his rectum revealed something very hard….and smooth. Using a protoscope (a small device with a light to examine the rectum, we often call Butt Light), I found a white, plastic object. “Did you put something in your butt?”, I inquired. “No.” Did someone ELSE but something in your butt?” “No”. And finally in an effort to see if he would disclose, I asked, “Could you have fallen in the shower and something accidentally entered your butt?”. “Yes, that may have happened.”

I tried, unsuccessfully, to remove the plastic object, so I had to send him to the ER. The ER staff, always eager to have this sort of problem to add to their repetiore of butt stories, said to send him right over. They couldn’t remove it even after he was sedated, so they called the for the GI surgeon. To make a longer story brief, he had to have immediate surgery and a colostomy. Several pounds of impacted stool was removed, along with a plastic Easter Egg! Sometime later, he confessed to his mother that he just wanted to see what it was like to lay an egg. Homeschool children often get bored…..apparently.

Related Topics: Swallowed Objects, Objects in ear


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