Foreign body in craniofacial orifices in children: Query parental indictment
Introduction: The increasing economic and pecuniary pressure on families incurred by contemporary lifestyle in a continuously evolving world has led parents especially mothers to engage in jobs that are more time mortgaging. This leads to reduced supervision of growing children among several families. At the same time, the prevalence of foreign body in craniofacial orifices in children is on the increase, without any audacious attempt to decode the raison d'être. In addition, early childhood explorative tendencies of putting objects in their craniofacial orifices further predisposes them to foreign body aspiration and ingestion. This study highlights some of the preceding circumstances prior to the lodging of foreign body in the craniofacial orifice in children seen in our hospital, with the aim of ascertaining the dynamics of parental factor in children putting objects in their craniofacial orifices. It also emphasizes the need for enlightenment and counselling of parents or guardians in the prevention and management of these cases, which may lead to foreign body ingestion and aspiration in children.
Patients and methods: The study was carried out in the University of Port Harcourt Teaching hospital (UPTH), Rivers state, Nigeria. The names of children who presented to the Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic of UPTH with foreign body in the ear, nose and throat from July 2018 to June 2019 were collected. After due permission was gotten, their medical records were retrieved from Hospital medical records department. The data collected were age and sex of the children, occupation of parents, and preceding circumstance to foreign body ingestion or aspiration. The data was presented in simple tables and figures.
Results: This was a retrospective analysis of the 57 cases of foreign body in the craniofacial orifices (ear, nose and throat) seen in the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) clinic of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Rivers state, Nigeria. Among these 57 cases were 36 males and 21 females. 86% (49) of the patients were 1-14 years, and 29 (59.2%) of the paediatric patients were less than 5 years. Among this paediatric population, the age category of 3-4years had the highest number of foreign bodies in the craniofacial orifices (15), followed by 1-2 years age category (14). The age category of 5-6 followed with 11 foreign bodies. The ear was the orifice with the highest number of foreign bodies, with 35 (62.5%) objects. Among the fathers of the 49 children, 5 fathers are unemployed, while among the mothers, 2 are full housewives without any other form of engagement.
Conclusion: As much as foreign body ingestion and aspiration is common among children under 5 years, its possibility is further enhanced when mothers or primary caregivers are encumbered with other responsibilities that limit their active supervision of these children. Therefore, an increase in the level of societal awareness as regards the prevention and likely complications of foreign body ingestion and aspiration, coupled with adequate counselling of parents and caregivers will help to reduce the prevalence of foreign body ingestion and foreign body in craniofacial orifices in children.