There are many nasal decongestant sprays and remedies out there, but most of them are aimed at adults. While children are likely to suffer from congestion and some health problems, there are very few options to help them. Doctors will tell you to ride them out as much as possible.
However, that is not comfortable for your children. It can also be dangerous, depending on where the congestion is and how bad it is. You will want to take steps to help remedy it and put your child’s health first.
So, what options do you have? The good news is there are some options available. Here are seven that are worth trying with your children.
Use a Nasal Bulb on Infants and Toddlers
When it comes to mucus, older children will know how to blow their nose. They will work with you to get rid of it naturally. Babies and toddlers are not the same. They will have no idea how to blow their nose physically and will usually fight against any tissue you put in front of them.
You will want a nasal bulb to help with younger children. These can also be good for those with special needs and behind in their development.
The bulb will suck out the mucus from the nasal passages. This instantly clears them, but it is only temporary. It is like blowing the nose. The nasal passages can fill up again, but at least there is some temporary relief.
If the mucus is stuck, you will need to loosen it a little. Use a little nasal saline to help. You can also use a humidifier or steam to help. If you are going to use nasal solutions, make sure they are suitable for the age of your child.
The nasal bulb is something you will have to use on a regular basis. If your child is old enough, opt for blowing the nose instead. Getting a bulb for smaller nostrils can be hard, but baby and parenting stores will usually have something.
Nasal bulbs with a little saline have proven to offer other benefits for stuffy noses. Children can get over their colds quicker because you are getting rid of some bacteria or viral infection from the body. You are also helping the body breathe better, which supports the immune system.
Make Your Bathroom Steamy
Many nasal and chest issues have been solved thanks to steam. Adults will often opt for steam rooms or hot tubs, but you can take children there. A steamy bathroom is going to be your next best thing.
Get the shower running as hot as possible. Don’t worry about the temperature as nobody is going in. You want the heat to create the steam.
Steam will naturally get into the chest area and through the nasal passages. It can dislodge the mucus and improve airflow, without anything medicinal. Your baby, toddler, or child does not have to do anything special. Merely breathing normally will help to improve and decongest the airways.
While removing the mucus, the heat can also help to reduce inflammation. When the nasal passages become inflamed, the slightest bit of blockage will feel bad. The pressure can build, making the congestion appear much worse than it needs to. The inflammation can also make coughs, especially from croup, worse. By getting rid of the inflammation, you also make it easier for the immune system to fight against whatever the reason is for the congestion.
If you want to add something to the steam to help, some essential oils can help. Minty or menthol essential oils are the best. They help to dislodge the mucus further to get rid of the congestion. You will want to discuss whether these are safe for your baby or child, as some aren’t.
Use the steamy bathroom trick four times a day for just 15 minutes. You should see improvement within just the first day.
Add a Humidifier to Your Child’s Room
Humidifiers are worth investing in. Right now, they will help to decongest your child’s nose, but they can also be excellent for other health reasons. For example, they can help to treat dry skin, especially throughout the night.
The benefit of a humidifier is that it can work while your child sleeps. There’s no need to turn it off on a night and no need to worry about the heat going down and making all the steam go away. The humidifier will also work in anyone’s home, no matter how hot it is.
The device works by adding some humidity back into the room. Dry air can make the airways uncomfortable and lead to congestion to become worse. The humidity will help to remove the mucus, getting rid of the reason for the congestion.
There are a few different types of humidifiers that you can get. Some will offer warm mist from the system and may have a way to add a few drops of essential oil. While these can be good if you are nearby always, they are not the best for your child’s room. Children can burn themselves on these types. You will want something that is safe for all ages.
Make sure you clean your humidifiers every couple of days. They can become clogged with dust and particles in the home, so they do not work as effectively as they should. Some will also grow bacteria or mold inside them, putting your child’s health at risk.
Humidifiers are especially beneficial during the winter months. This is when the air tends to be drying, making it harder to breathe and causing more problems for mucus sticking. Your child is also more likely to pick up colds and infections doing the rounds.
Make Your Saline
A nasal saline can help to clear out the mucus. While you can use filtered water, you can use something a little more effective to get rid of the reason for the congestion. You want to affect the virus or bacterial infection that is causing the problem, right? After all, congestion is usually a symptom of a problem.
Studies have shown that some saline solutions can help to reduce the chances of a child getting ill again. The best thing is you can easily get the ingredients from your grocery shop.
Invest in a little contact lens solution, even if you do not use contact lenses. Just put a small amount in a nasal bulb and push into one nostril at a time. You will need to hold the head steady. Even toddlers will know that putting watery solutions near the nose is not normal and could panic. Opt for over the bath or sink, so there’s somewhere for the water to go.
If you do not want to use contact lens solution, you could use some seawater solution instead. Both will help to fight against any bacteria within the nasal passages and can help to boost the immune system.
This option is not suitable for children under six months old. You will need to use filtered water just to lightly loosen the mucus and then use the bulb to suck it out.
Get a Bowl of Steam
If your child is old enough to sit up with their head over a bowl, this is an excellent option. You will help to keep water and heating bills down since there’s no need to keep the shower running in the bathroom!
Put a bowl of boiled water into a bowl and place it on a table. Get your child to sit with their head over the bowl and a towel over their head. The towel just helps to keep circulating the steam around the face, making it easier for your child to breathe the steam in.
The trick works the same as the steamy bathroom trick. It is just easier and quicker to manage.
You can add essential oils to the water if you would like. It is easier to add a few drops to the bowl of water than it would be to add them to the bathroom! Add some menthol, eucalyptus, or peppermint to the water. The minty scents will help to dislodge the mucus and reduce the inflammation within the airways. You can also find children with croup or other chest infections find it easier to breathe after this trick.
Make sure your child is old enough to avoid touching the bowl. This is boiled water so will burn if knocked.
Give Plenty of Fluids
It is easy to overlook fluids when your child is ill. Your child may not even feel that thirsty or realize that they are thirsty. The breathing through the mouth because of a blocked nose dries out the mouth, so many people just incorrectly assume the dryness is solely because of that.
Making sure your child gets plenty of fluid is not just to avoid dehydration. The water can help to improve breathing and get rid of some of the congestion. This is especially the case when there’s mucus causing the blockage in the nasal passages. The water will help to soften and dislodge the mucus, making it easier to get out of the body.
Water will also help to boost the immune system. It is easier to fight against whatever the problem is so that you can reduce the symptoms.
You can always add some fruit to the water. When ill, everything can taste odd. By getting the fruit, the water will taste sweeter, making it easier to convince your child to drink it. Alternatively, orange juice is a good option. Both will offer extra nutrients, supporting the immune system to get rid of the reason for the
Look Out for Over the Counter Decongestants
There are some decongestants available over the counter. You will need to look through the options and make sure they are suitable for the age of your child. Most that you will find easily is for children age four and above, so you may need to ask your pharmacist for an option for children under that age.
Try to keep the over the counter remedies as a last resort. Doctors prefer children not to use them, as they can be dangerous to some. Your pharmacist will run through a list of side effects and will want to know more about your child to ensure the options given are the best ones.
You can use the herbal remedies above while using the counter remedies. The two together can help to speed up the process and avoid repeat infections later.
Decongestants are not recommended for children under the age of six months old. The best option will be the steamy bathroom trick.
Tylenol can also help to ease some congestion. This will also help to deal with other symptoms linked to the congestion and will aid with any temperature due to the condition. Just make sure the Tylenol is suitable for the age of your child.
Talk to Your Doctor
If all fails and the condition gets worse, you will need to talk to your doctor.This could be a more severe infection that needs dealing with. If you can hear wheezing with the congestion, it suggests that the problem is within the lungs. Your doctor will help to find a solution to handle the infection and get rid of the symptoms. Your doctor will also check for problems like asthma and be able to offer a solution to open the airways.
Getting Rid of Congestion
It is hard watching your child suffer. You just wish that you could get their cold and relieve them of all their symptoms. Until technology and medicine get to that point, you will just have to find a way to help remove the congestion. This will mean looking at the reason for the congestion, as it is a symptom, but there are steps you can take to overcome the symptom.
The tips above are all child-friendly. Some are suitable from birth, while the others are for children slightly older. Now it is up to you which one you try first.