Nasal Congestion in Kids
It’s really heartbreaking for any parent to see their child in discomfort and suffering due to an illness. Being a mother, I know very well how it feels when your child is sick. My son, Nemit, is a 2-year-old healthy boy and I take good care of his health and immunity. Still, he often catches a cold which results in nasal congestion every time. However, as per our doctor, this is actually normal for an infant or a toddler and getting a cold is, in fact, helpful in building their immunity from common viruses.
This may seem good for a child in the sense of developing immunity, but the discomfort caused by a blocked nose can’t be ignored as it interferes with their breathing, eating as well as sleeping. And that’s why today I am going to talk about some remedies to unblock your baby’s nose. And will also share some tips on how to ease the discomfort due to congestion.
But before moving further, I want to ask a few questions from all the parents who are reading this post. Please go through the below questions as these will help you to understand what I will be covering in this post-
- ⇒ Has your baby/toddler ever caught a cold?
- ⇒ Was it followed by a fever?
- ⇒ Does your child often catch a cold & suffer from a blocked nose?
- ⇒ Do you get panicked everytime your child suffers from cold & flu?
- ⇒ Have you given your child over the counter available medicines for a fast recovery?
- ⇒ Do you know the difference between illness caused due to virus and bacteria?
- ⇒ Are you aware of the usefulness of nasal drops used for babies & toddlers?
- ⇒ Do you know when to consult a doctor when your child gets a cold?
- ⇒ Do you want to know easy and safer ways to ease your child’s discomfort due to the blocked nose?
I am going to talk about all these things today. So let’s begin!
My first encounter with cold and the blocked nose
Nemit was just 11 months old when he caught a cold for the very first time. I too panicked as I had no idea what to do at that time. Like any other horrified mother, I frantically searched Google for answers. After doing my research on ‘Cold in Babies’ I decided to wait for it as I read that there is no treatment for cold caused by a virus. And I started keeping a tab on the symptoms. The first couple of days, he was having a runny nose but was playful so I thought everything was fine. But, on the 3rd day, his nose got blocked and he was having difficulty breathing while feeding and sleeping. At that time, I was terrified as he also had some temperature along with the cold. We immediately took an appointment with Nemit’s pediatrician, and that day, all my worries faded away.
Our doctor calmed us down, and after doing a normal check-up, she explained to us everything about ‘COLD‘ and ‘BLOCKED NOSE‘, which I am going to share with you all now. I am really thankful to our doctor for always listening to our queries and explaining things in detail.
Let’s see some facts related to the common cold
- ⇒ Every child catches a cold now and then and that is actually a good thing especially for older babies & toddlers.
- ⇒ These episodes are good as they help in building up immunity in kids against common viruses.
- ⇒ Most commonly, cold & flu are caused by viruses and rarely by a bacteria.
- ⇒ Cold can result in congestion/blocked nose/stuffy nose in kids.
- ⇒ Since, in most cases, cold is caused by a virus, antibiotics don’t work.
- ⇒ One can only deal with the symptoms of the cold but can not cure the illness.
- ⇒ The body usually takes around 14 days to fight off the virus out of the system on its own.
- ⇒ The rise in body temperature up to 101°F is considered normal.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children under the age of 4, shouldn’t be given over the counter cold and cough medications. This is because they are ineffective for younger kids. They can also pose some serious or even life-threatening side effects.
I hope by now, you must have got answers to some of your queries and doubts. Before moving further, let’s see ‘WHY‘ it’s important to clear up the nose congestion in babies and toddlers.
- ⇒ Young babies are ‘obligatory nose breathers‘ which means they can breathe only through their nose. Now imagine when their nose gets blocked due to mucus build up, how difficult it becomes for them to breathe properly.
- ⇒ This, in turn, interferes with their sleep and they become more cranky.
- ⇒ Significant congestion can cause snoring and can be associated with sleep apnea (a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing).
- ⇒ Nasal congestion also hampers in their ability to take breastfeed.
- ⇒ And in some serious cases, congestion in small kids can hamper their mental and physical growth.
So now you know the facts related to the common cold as well as why it’s important to treat nasal congestion in young children. Let’s see some of the easy and best home remedies to unblock a stuffy nose and ease off the discomfort in babies & toddlers.
7 Easy Ways to Clear Nasal Congestion
1 – Use Nasal Drops – This is one of the best and easiest ways to clear the mucus from the baby’s nose. You can use saline nasal drops which are good for immediate thinning of the mucus. In case the problem is aggravated one can use Nasivion nasal drops which are well tolerated and effective. Nasivion® 0.01 % baby nose drops are available for infants below one year. Nasivion® 0,025 % child drops are also available for children aged 1-6 years. If your infant lies in the age group of five-week-old to one-year-old, put 1-2 drops into each nostril 2-3 times a day or as directed by the physician. These nasal drops contain Oxymetazoline Hydrochloride, hence these should not be used for more than 10 days in a row. Once the stuffy mucus gets thin, it becomes easier to clear it out by blowing the nose. Please make sure you consult your doctor/pediatrician before using the product.
2 – Use a Nasal Aspirator – Since babies and young toddlers cannot blow their own noses, you can use a nasal aspirator or bulb syringe to suck out the mucus from their nose. It’s an easy and safe way to clear the mucus. Bulb syringe has a soft tip which is inserted into the nose of the babies to suck the mucus out. Please remember to sanitize the aspirator before and after every use.
3 – Give Lots of Liquids – Adequate fluid intake helps in thinning the mucus. Keep giving liquids like water, juice, milk or simple hot soups at regular intervals to ease out the discomfort caused due to congestion. Don’t force, even taking small sips throughout the day will help.
You may also read – Fussy behavior in kids!
4 – Add Moisture – One of the best ways to add moisture is by using a cool-mist room humidifier/vaporizer which in turn, helps clear a stuffy nose and also eases the discomfort caused due to dryness. If a humidifier is not available, try giving steam by sitting in a steamy bathroom. Just turn on the hot shower and once the whole bathroom gets steamy, sit there with your baby for some time. It helps in loosening the mucus.
5 – Allow Plenty of Rest – Many a time during the initial stages of cold, kids don’t feel much discomfort. Still, it’s better to ask them to take adequate rest during the day. This will help their body to fight off the virus effectively and replenish their lost energy.
6 – Change the Sleep Position – While making your child sleep, elevate his head a little by putting a rolled towel or a small cushion under his mattress just below the head. This will help drain mucus out of the sinuses and support easy breathing.
7 – Wait it out – Last but not the least, it’s important to understand that the body takes its time to fight the infection and we should not panic. Don’t rely on over-the-counter medications to provide instant relief to your kids as these will not help, and in fact, can cause problems in the long run. It is also important to understand the difference between a viral and a bacterial infection and when to consult the doctor. It’s important for parents to keep their cool and do their best to help the child by following the right ways to ease their discomfort.
Watch this beautiful video by Nasivion #HappyNoseHappyMom
I hope you find this information helpful and now you know what to do in case your child catches a cold and gets nasal congestion. Do share this post with your family and friends. As sharing is caring! Thank you.
All content here, including advice from the doctor, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek direct advice from your own doctor in case of any questions related to your health.
This is a sponsored post, however, all opinions are that of the author.