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It is quite common for children to push something into their ears or up their nose and to get sand, dust or grit in their eyes. If you can see something, such as an eyelash, sand, dust or an insect in the eye, try and remove it by gently holding the eye open or flushing the eye with clean or saline water. Tip the head slightly to one side and gently pour the water into the inner corner of the eye to flush it out. If you can, find a towel or something similar to place around the shoulders to keep them dry.

This process may be a bit distressing, especially for children, so you will need to be very firm but careful. It is important to get the dirt out. If you have any problems or concerns, seek medical help straight away.

If you cannot flush the item out and it is on the white of the eye, you can try removing it using the corner of a clean handkerchief or tissue that has been dampened with clean or sterile water. If this does not work, you will need to seek medical attention.

When dealing with a foreign object that has actually penetrated the eye or stuck into the eye, leave it alone and seek medical assistance straight away. Trying to remove it could cause serious problems and could potentially cause long-term damage to the sight.

If a child has something in their ear, try and get them to tip their head to one side to see if the item will fall out. If the item is lodged in, you will need to seek medical attention.

Having something in the ear can affect hearing and balance, so trying to remove it may cause damage to the ear and damage to the hearing.

Insects in the ear may be flushed out with water. So ask the child to tip their head to one side with the affected ear uppermost, then fill the ear with water and then if the insect floats out on top, you can remove it. If not, you will have to seek medical advice.

If the child has an object stuck in their nose, do not let them poke their fingers or anything else up there to try and remove it and do not attempt to remove it yourself. Even if you can see it, keep the child as calm as possible, encourage them to breathe through their mouth and take them straight to the hospital.