What should you do if your baby gets something stuck in his ear or nose? Stay calm and try to reassure him that it’s no big deal. The biggest danger is that you’ll push the bean or button or piece of cereal deeper if you try to get it out yourself with a cotton swab or tweezers. If the object is very close to the surface and clearly visible, tweezers are fine. But leave the more tricky extractions to the professionals and their tiny forceps and other instruments.

It’s important to take your baby to the doctor right away. It’ll be easier for the doctor to see what she’s dealing with early on, and some objects become more problematic the longer you wait

Babies and small children have a fondness for putting all kinds of things, from beads to popcorn kernels, up their nose or into their ears, and they may not realize when something gets stuck there.

If there’s something in your baby’s nose, you may notice that one side of his nose is runny, and the discharge is likely to smell bad. Your baby may cry because of the pain or discomfort, or he may get a nosebleed. If your baby has put something in his ear, he may pull on his ear or have drainage or discomfort.

How will the doctor get it out?

The doctor will look in your baby’s ear or nose, and then decide how best to proceed. She has many techniques and tools that she may use.

She may have you cover your child’s mouth with your own and give a short, quick breath to dislodge the object as she closes one of your baby’s nostrils.

She may instead use small, tweezers forceps or a suction machine to remove the object. If the object is metal, she may be able to use a magnet to remove it.

If the procedure is especially problematic, she may need to sedate your baby in order to get the object out.

After the object is out, she’ll look in your baby’s ear or nose again to make sure there’s nothing else in there. She may also prescribe nose or ear drops or antibiotic ointment to nip any infection.

Children putting objects in their nose and ears has been the cause of many a chuckle, but its serious business. A lodged object can cause infection and long-term damage.

You’ll want to make sure all of your baby’s toys are age appropriate, with no small parts that can be pulled off and put in your baby’s ear or nose. And, as always, you’ll want to supervise him closely.