A technique called the "mother's kiss" for removing foreign objects from the nasal passages of young children appears to be a safe and effective approach, found a study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).
"The mother's kiss appears to be a safe and effective technique for first-line treatment in the removal of a foreign body from the nasal cavity," writes Dr. Stephanie Cook, Buxted Medical Centre, Buxted, United Kingdom, with coauthors. "In addition, it may prevent the need for general anesthesia in some cases."
The technique, known since the 1960s but not widely used, can help prevent the need for more invasive measures such as hook or forceps, and suction to remove objects. In the mother's kiss, a child's mother or trusted relative covers the child's mouth with her mouth to form a seal, blocks the clear nostril with her finger then blows into the mouth. The pressure from the breath may then expel the object. The parent explains the technique to the child so that he or she is not frightened, and the technique can be done with instruction by a health care professional. It can be repeated several times.
Researchers from the United Kingdom and Australia included 8 case studies in a systematic review to determine whether the technique was effective in children aged 1 to 8 years. They found it to be effective, with no reported adverse events.
However, they note the possibility that publication bias -- that positive results tend to be published more often than negative results which show no effect -- could affect the type of evidence available.
Further studies are needed to compare various positive-pressure techniques and to test their efficacy in different situations regarding location of object and length of time in the nasal passages.
- Stephanie Cook, Martin Burton, Paul Glasziou. Efficacy and safety of the "mother's kiss" technique: a systematic review of case reports and case series. CMAJ, 2012; DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.111864
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