Let’s talk: which foreign objects have you found in ears and noses? 20

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Imagine this: you’ve suffered headaches and had a blocked nose for as long as you can remember. Doctors say it’s just hayfever, then one day a sneezing fit propels a foreign object from your nose. It’s the rubber tip of a toy dart you remember playing with when you were a wee lad.

This is exactly what happened to British man, Steve Easton, whose mother confirmed she had taken him to the doctor when he was seven because she suspected he’d inhaled the toy part. Nothing came of it and the incident was forgot until 40 years later when the dart hit the tabletop.



Ask almost anyone and they can tell you story about someone (possibly themselves) getting something stuck up their nose or in their ears. A quick poll of the Starts at 60 office find beads and Lego are the most likely suspects.

According to Stanford Children’s Health in the US, the most common items kids (and sometimes grown-ups) get stuck in their ears are: food, insects, toys, buttons, pieces of crayon and small batteries.

Meanwhile, Today’s Parent lists the following as some of the items children love to stick up their noses (along with their fingers, of course): small game parts, balls of paper or tissue, play dough and peas.

When you’re a kid, curiosity can get the better of you, and before you know it, mum’s coming at you with the tweezers or you’re off to the doctor.

Tell us your stories! Did you or someone you know get something stuck up their nose or in their ear? Along with toy darts, what other tiny parts made their way into dark places?

** Please note: the swallowing or inhalation of a small battery is a life-threatening situation and needs to be treated in hospital.

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. When my daughter was young she had a moth fly in her ear. When it was removed it was still alive!

  2. I remember putting the rubber from the end of a pencil up my nose. First time I could blow it out, second time not so lucky. Resulted in a trip to the Cairns Base Hospital in the ambulance and a hiding when I got home!

  3. I got an ant in my ear a few years back, it was terrible, it felt like a giant thumping about in there until it finally found its way out.

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