Removing foreign objects from ears and noses costs England almost £3m a year, a study suggests.[Q16] Children were responsible for the vast majority of cases - 95% of objects removed from noses and 85% from ears. Every year, an average of 1,218 nose and 2,479 ear removals took place between 2010 and 2016. According to England's Hospital Episode Statistics, children aged one to four were the most likely to need help from doctors for a foreign object in their nose. Five to nine year olds come to the hospital with something in their ear the most. Jewelry items accounted for up to 40% of cases in both the ears and noses of children. Paper and plastic toys were the items removed next most from noses. Cotton buds and pencils were also found in ears.[Q17]
According to the study, the occurrence of foreign objects in children is generally attributed to curiosity. Children have an impulse to explore their noses and ears. This results in the accidental entry of foreign objects. [Q18] Any ear, nose and throat surgeon has many weird stories about wonderful objects found in the noses and ears of children and adults. Batteries can pose a particular danger. In all cases, prevention is better than cure. This is why many toys contain warnings about small parts. Recognizing problems early and seeking medical attention is important.
Q16: What does England spend an annual £3m on?
Q17: What do we learn from England's Hospital Episode Statistics?
Q18: What is generally believed to account for children putting things in their ears or noses?