You are hard put to it to watch your little one ceaselessly every second of his or her day, so chances are you must be ready for the occasion when the baby has strayed away, found something he wasn’t supposed to and stuck it up his nose. Do you know what would the right procedure be? Rush the baby to the nearest hospital, get advice from a more experienced mum or attempt to pull out the offending object with a handy instrument?
Before you choose any of these courses of action, you may as well give a chance to a half-century-old method known as Mother’s Kiss. It has recently gained further attention from medicos who tried to assess its effectiveness and practicability.
A team of British primary care physicians from Buxted Medical Center, East Sussex, led by Dr. Stephanie Cook, who had set out to evaluate the technique, wrote out a report for the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ). But before we look up the results, let’s ascertain we know what we are talking about.
How exactly do you perform Mother’s Kiss? Nothing could be simpler. First, you cover your baby’s mouth with your own. Then you have to close the free nostril as tightly as you can with your finger. Thirdly, you give a good blow straight into the baby’s mouth. There’s a fair chance that the air pressure you thus created will dislodge the alien object – and the whole problem is solved in no time at all.
Here’s the trick, now back to the research. Using MEDLINE, CINAHL, Embase, AMED Complementary and Allied Medicine, and the British Nursing Index as the source of relevant articles on human material that treat or refer to the subject of Mother’s Kiss. What they were looking for was any definite proof of the effectiveness of the technique, and whether it can produce any adverse effects. Besides, another interesting point was to find out if there are any factors that could ensure positive results.
The research brought out 8 articles with pertaining data which allowed to arrive at the following conclusions. The success rate of Mother’s Kiss was discovered to be 59.9%, while no evidence of any adverse effects. Basing on these data, Dr. Cook and her team consider this “a high success rate” and the technique itself “a useful and safe first-line option” for the purpose.
True, if you need to remove a foreign object from the child’s nasal cavity, Mother’s Kiss seems to be the easiest – and the fastest – way to do it while the risk is minimal: in the very worst case you are left where you started and can proceed with other extraction techniques straightaway.
Emergency department doctors also admit they recommend Mother’s Kiss, and, if the doctor was able to persuade the parent to try, the children are quite happy with it and don’t get frightened nor shy away.
Experts even go as far as to state that the Kiss is probably the best method to be held over the use of forceps or tweezers (which are often applied with sedation) – so long as it works, of course. Consequently some of them urge that the procedure should be performed only in the presence of a doctor who will make sure that the object won’t get lodged even more firmly in the nasal cavity nor end up in the lung.