Boy saved from surgery through blowing his nose

Hundreds of Dubbo students have this week laughed and learned through a lesson that has saved one unwell little boy from ear surgery.

The student at a Dubbo primary school had been bound for a costly but necessary procedure to insert grommets when he began a seemingly simple nose-blowing program.

So effective were the practices taught by dedicated hearing support teachers to improve his health that the surgery was no longer needed.

The win, reported by the specially-trained NSW Department of Education staff yesterday, had this week encouraged them as they continued their march to hold otitis media at bay.

The common but serious health problem not only reduces hearing but also causes disadvantages in communication, learning and social capacity.

It is however mostly preventable by adopting a few simple measures, summed up as "breathe, blow, cough, wash, chew".

Hearing support teachers Donna Rees and Rachel Mills streamed the five-pronged approach of the Healthy Ears lessons into Dubbo South Public School this week to increase prevention as well as awareness of otitis media.

By leading separate sessions with teachers, parents and students they saw that nobody missed out on knowing what they could do to make sure the young generation reached its potential.

“If the school can accommodate us, we ask to run sessions for teachers, parents and kids, so that it’s everyone’s business,” Ms Rees said.

“Then they’ll all know, so the program is done not just while we’re there, and then never again - we want them to embrace it.”

Kindergarten and year 1 students yesterday sat intrigued as they watched puppets ‘Lucy’ and ‘Sam’ talking tissues, all the time reinforcing the healthy ears messages.

Ms Rees said advantages of the program were that it was systematic and could go into the classroom so that it did not take up a lot of extra time.

“The kids enjoy it and we have a lot of fun,” Ms Rees said.

Hearing support teachers travel to schools across the western region.

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