Sick Child Pulls Disintegrated Safety Pin From Nose, Exposing Danger Of Foreign Objects Ending Up In Kids' Airways

safety pin
It's not uncommon for children to put foreign objects into their mouths and noses. Screenshot/KABC-TV.

The family of five-year-old Khloe Russell were shocked to learn that a one-and-a-half-inch safety pin that had become lodged in her nostril six months earlier was the cause of her persistent runny nose. While Khloe recovered from the incident once the pin was removed, her story reminds us of how dangerous it can be when children put foreign objects in their airways.

For months, Khloe suffered from a mysterious ailment that caused green, foul-smelling mucous to leak from one side of her nose, Khloe’s mother Katelyn Powell told KABC-TV. According to Powell, she had taken her daughter to a doctor who diagnosed the child with a sinus infection and put her on a course of antibiotics. When the medication failed to work, Powell took Khloe to a dentist, but still, they could not find the root of the illness.

Luckily, this past weekend the mystery was solved. Upon instructions from her uncle, Khloe gave her nose a big blow and out popped the safety pin. "It was a huge object. It was bigger than her nose," said Powell. The pin was rusted and partially disintegrated after being lodged inside of the child’s nostril for so long.

"I almost passed out," Powell told KABC-TV. "I couldn't believe it. It was huge. I was like, 'Where did this come from!'"

Reluctantly, Khloe admitted that several months earlier she had been playing with the pin, and was curious to see how far she could push it up her nose. After becoming lodged deep inside of her nose, the pin quickly become encased in mucous, causing it be be undetectable by doctors. Powell doesn’t blame the doctors for failing to find the pin and is just relieved her young daughter is back to peak health, ABC 7 News reported.

Although Khloe has been doing well since the pin’s removal, not all stories such as these end so happily. According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, due to the position of a child’s larynx, the voicebox, young children are especially susceptible to choking on foreign objects that find their way into the airway. The most common objects for children to accidentally inhale are foods, such as grapes and nuts, but toys, pins, and beads also find their ways into children’s airways and in some cases can become choking hazards. In fact, according to New York State Department of Health, choking is the fourth leading cause of unintentional death in children under the age of five.

Unlike Khloe, these objects usually have to be removed using forceps, and in rare cases, doctors may even have to make a small incision in the child’s airway, known as a tracheotomy, in order to remove extremely difficult objects.

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