10 do’s and don’ts to be followed while your child has a blocked/stuffy or runny nose.
– Rashmi Chand
Breathing is effortless, something we pay no heed to unless we get a blocked nose.
There is nothing as annoying as a blocked nose, and it gets even worse for our little ones, as they are obligatory nose breathers. Children between 0-1 years do not know any other way of breathing.
When they have nasal congestion, they have real difficulty in breathing, so much so that it hampers their food intake. Breastfeeding infants suffer the most as they find it difficult to nurse and breathe at the same time.
Nasal congestion not only irritates kids, but in some serious conditions, may hinder their physical and mental growth too. It can require severe intervention if not taken care of at the initial stages.
Cold and cough are apparently the most common illnesses that confront little kids. As a child I would catch a cold quite frequently and my child is no different.
With change in weather and the onset of rains, our environment becomes conducive for virus causing a common cold and flu, hence stuffy nose is so common during the monsoon.
Due to poor immunity, infants are more susceptible to common cold which leads to a stuffy nose. You will see your baby being more cranky and unable to nurse well. The toddlers and older kids lose appetite, are irritable and lethargic when they have a cold.
Nasal congestion is caused due to swelling in nasal tissues and mucus build-up, which is commonly accompanied by fever, cough etc.
As parents, we try to do everything to comfort our child. Here are 10 do’s and don’ts that can be followed while your child has a blocked/stuffy or runny nose.
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1. Lots of fluid intake
Offer lots of fluid to your child. In case of infants under 6 months of age try nursing as often as you can. If the baby isn’t able to nurse, you can express milk and feed with the help of a paladai, spoon or a bottle.
2. Feed warm liquids- older children should be given warm liquids like soups to ease the discomfort. Tomato soup or shorba, chicken and lemon soup (rich in vitamin C) will give a boost to their immunity.
3. Use saline drops- This is perhaps the best thing to use while you have a cold. These saline drops are safe for kids and clear the mucus build-up. I always keep Nasivion in my home and even carry it while travelling.
Nasivion Nasal Saline Solution will mostly be the first thing prescribed by your doctor as it is the first line of treatment, and it is safe to use by anyone. Please do ensure that you consult your doctor/paediatrician before using the product.
If the problem persists and your baby/child doesn’t feel better then after consulting the doctor, one can opt for Nasivion (Mini) Baby Nose Drops or Nasivion Paediatric (Child) Nose drops depending on the age of the child.
Nasivion Child is suitable for age group of 1-6 years with strength 0.025%; for babies use strength 0.01%. For children aged between 1 to 6 years only: put 1-2 drops into each nostril 2-3 times a day for better relief or follow your doctor’s instructions. Do not use for longer than 10 consecutive days.
4. Cuddling- Yes, a “jaadu ki jhappi” does wonders. Keep your child close to you. Lots of cuddle will comfort him/her.
5. Avoid ointments or essential oils on the nose or forehead- it is important that OTC ointments or essential oils are avoided for little kids. There are specific baby rubs for kids that should be used. Again, nothing should be applied too close to nose/eyes or mouth.
6 Steam- Steam eases up the blocked nose. You can give steam twice a day.
7. Keep their head raised while sleeping- Children find it most difficult to sleep when they have a blocked nose. Propping the head on a pillow will help them breathe better.
8. Breastfeeding- Breastfeeding calms down the babies, nothing can soothe an ailing child as well as a mother’s touch. If you are still feeding your child, nurse as often as you can.
9. Avoid going to public areas like malls and parks, as they are breeding grounds for virus and may aggravate your child’s discomfort.
10. Visit a doctor- Do consult your doctor if the nasal congestion prolongs and you observe a drop in your child’s activity level.
There are some other interesting facts and information that I came across about nasal congestion, you too can check those here.