Parenting Advisor - Helping Your Child Clear Up A Stuffy Or Congested Nose

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Helping Your Child Clear Up A Stuffy Or Congested Nose

Does your child have asthma or allergies? Are they prone to catching colds no matter what time of year it is? It’s likely that they’re always having to deal with a stuffy or congested nose, which can make breathing quite difficult for them. According to pediatric infectious disease expert Dr. Buddy Creech, a stuffy nose can be more troublesome for children because a child’s nasal passages are significantly smaller than of an adult’s. To treat a child’s clogged nose, medical experts recommend nonmedical approaches first since they’re safer than decongestants. If your child is having trouble breathing, here’s how to help your little one clear up a stuffy or congested nose so they can feel better right away.

Use a Humidifier

If you have dry air in your home, it may be time to humidify your indoor air, especially if your child is prone to nasal congestion. Dry air is directly related to having a stuffy nose because it thickens the mucus in a person’s nasal passages. The thicker the mucus, the harder it is to expel and breathe. Moreover, exposure to cold and dry air can inflame and irritate the nasal passages, which results in an increased production of mucus.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a home or a workplace should have 30 to 50 percent humidity levels to prevent the risk of health issues. To help your child feel better, use a humidifier to combat dry air. Place the humidifier in their room to help them breathe easier at night and have better sleep quality. You may even consider getting a whole house humidifier to increase the moisture in the air. This can be highly beneficial during the winter months, and it can make your house feel warmer and more comfortable. Alternatively, you can also have your child take a short, warm bath since the warm, moist air in the bathroom can help to temporarily ease congestion. Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to the bath, or place a few fresh eucalyptus sprigs near the tub to relieve nasal and chest congestion.

Flush Out Mucus with a Nasal Wash

A nasal wash or a sinus flush can be beneficial for kids with colds, allergies, or sinusitis, and this is done by rinsing out their nasal passages with a homemade saline solution. To make the solution, simply mix half a teaspoon of salt and a pinch of baking soda into a cup of warm distilled water. Pour the solution into a neti pot or an irrigation bottle, but make sure that whatever you use should be properly sanitized to avoid infection.

To perform a nasal wash, have your child lean over the sink or a basin and tilt their head to one side so that one of their nostrils is elevated. Make sure that their forehead and chin are level so that the saline solution won’t flow into their mouth. Insert the spout into the upper nostril, let the solution flow, and wait for it to come out through the lower nostril. Ask your child to blow their nose gently, then repeat on the other side.

Keep them Hydrated

Dehydration can dry out your child’s mouth, nasal passages, and throat, which can lead to stuffiness or congestion. As such, make sure that your child drinks more water throughout the day. Let your little one choose their favorite water bottle or cup, and add a straw to make drinking water fun for them. Make sure that they have access to a pitcher or have another filled water bottle in their room so they won’t have to go to the kitchen for a refill in the middle of the night.

If they don’t like the taste of plain water, try to improve the taste of drinking water by adding slices of fresh fruit. Slice some lemons, oranges, limes, watermelon, cantaloupe, or berries, and let the fruit steep in an infuser pitcher for a few minutes. Serve it chilled or at room temperature, whichever your child prefers.

For a warm, hydrating drink, try giving your child some bone broth. This flavorful broth is rich in amino acids, which can ease congestion and relieve flu-like symptoms. Toddlers should be given no more than four ounces of bone broth per day, while older kids can have a small cup of broth with their meals.

Nasal congestion can be uncomfortable for your child, so try these tips to help them breathe easier. If symptoms persist, consult your pediatrician for proper treatment.

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