Monsoon is fun, but as a parent, we are worried about our children being more prone to infections and flu that come along with rains.
Common cold, or any other seasonal flu can cause stuffy nose (also known as nasal congestion) in children. Nasal congestion or “stuffy nose” occurs when nasal and adjacent tissues and blood vessels become swollen with excess fluid, causing a “stuffy” feeling. Nasal congestion may or may not be accompanied by a nasal discharge or “runny nose.”
Nasal congestion usually is just an annoyance for older children and adults. But nasal congestion can be difficult for infants whose sleep is disturbed by their inability to breathe, also who might have a hard time feeding, as a result losing their appetite.
Babies are Obligatory Nasal Breathers, which means they can only breathe through their nose. Babies can only breathe through their mouth when they are crying. It has been suggested that infants may not be able to sustain oral breathing for significant lengths of time, because of the weakness of the muscles required to seal the nasal airway and open the oral airway. Nasal congestion is very common, especially for babies under three months and can lead to a serious life risk situation.
Symptoms of nasal congestion:
● Child might face difficulty in breathing or if any whistling happens while the child breathes.
● Significant drop in the appetite, especially if the child is finding it difficult to latch while breastfeeding or bottle feeding.
● If you see any mild or major swelling around forehead, eyes, nose or cheek.
● Baby might try to scratch or pick their nose, due to irritation or feeling of suffocation due to congestion.
Causes of Nasal congestion in Babies:
● Common cold is the predominant cause for stuffy nose in infants. Cold viruses increase the formation of thick mucus in the nose and inflame the inner lining of the nostrils. This restricts the flow of air into
● Seasonal Flu are similar to those of common cold, but the baby will also have a high fever. A runny nose is more common in Flu infection than inflammation of the nasal passages
● Allergies cause stuffy nose in babies just like common cold and influenza. Many allergens, like pollen, can inflame the nasal passages and make them secrete surplus mucus.
● Asthma is the constriction of airways that makes normal breathing or breathing during vigorous activities difficult. Nasal congestion can happen if the babies have asthma due to an inflammation of the respiratory tissues.
● Irritants ranges from pollution to dry air. Anything that can irritate the inside of the nose has the potential to trigger excessive secretion of mucus. Dry air can dry the mucus, which can harden causing difficulty in breathing.
Remedies for nasal congestion:
Fortunately, many home remedies are quite effective at making your little one more comfortable. Here are a few easy treatments to try.
● Over the counter Saline nasal drops can easily be considered as one of the best home remedies for stuffy nose in babies. It has anti-bacterial properties that help in killing the bacteria and virus which causes cold and cough. I personally use Nasivion nasal drops for my little one.
Nasivion has a lot of variants & usage differs according to the age group as mentioned below:
Nasivion Mini (Baby) Nose drops:
-It is recommended for babies upto the age of 4 weeks, instill 1 drop of the solution into each nostril 2-3 times per day.
-From the 5th week of life until the age of 1 year, instill 1-2 drops into each nostril 2-3 times per day or as directed by the physician.
Oxymetazoline Hydrochloride containing drops should not be used for more than ten consecutive days. Please consult a pediatrician before use.
Nasivion pediatric (child) Nose drops:
-For children aged between 1 to 6 years only use 1-2 drops into each nostril 2-3 times per day or as directed by the physician.
Oxymetazoline Hydrochloride containing nasal drops should not be used for longer than 10 consecutive days. Please consult a pediatrician before use.
Nasivion Saline Nasal Solution:
-Use 2-3 drops / sprays in each nostril 3-4 times daily or as directed by the Physician.
Please consult a pediatrician before use.
● In case your baby has bad nasal congestion, run a hot shower to create steam and then sit with baby in your laps in the steamy bathroom for few minutes or you can even try to feed the baby there.
● A nasal aspirator can do wonders in clearing up a stuffy nose. Just squeeze the aspirator to release the air and gently insert just the tip. Then slowly release the bulb so that it sucks out the mucus. Make sure to sterilize it after every use.
● Mucus can dry up and form a crust inside the nostril. In that case, wet a cotton swab with warm water and clean the area. To clean the insides of the nostril, you can use a wet earbud. Remember to do it gently and carefully.
● For babies 6 months and up, try feeding baby a little warm, unsweetened apple juice or water (test on your inner wrist to make sure it’s not too hot). Just as with OTC products, they’ll soften any mucus that ends up in the back of baby’s throat.
Home remedies for cold, cough and nasal block are practiced in every Indian household. However, we must understand that all cases of nasal congestion cannot be cured through home remedies. Especially, care and precaution should be taken in case of babies.
Visit doctor if you see following in your child:
● Your child has a high fever, especially if it lasts more than three days.
● Your child has a stuffy nose and his or her vision is blurred, or the forehead, eyes, sides of the nose, or cheeks appear to be swollen.
● Your child is congested and has asthma.
● Your child’s nasal mucus or coughing discharge is green, yellow, or gray, or it is accompanied by sinus pain.
It’s tough to see our little feel suffocated and not being able to express what exactly is troubling them. Do let me know in comments below, what works for your child with stuffy nose or running nose.
Also if you are also a mom (like me) who is more than happy if the child is well slept with a happy nose then you must watch this video (click on the link below)
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Until next time,
Enjoy Monsoon and stay Healthy.