Friday, August 10, 2018

Children’s Blocked Nose - Do’s & Don'ts

The monsoon season is here, and with the beautiful weather also comes the season of flu. With schools starting for my toddler, I know that it also means the frequent bouts of cold and cough will make an entry into my home. As they’re under 5, their immune system is still developing and catching different viruses is common at this age. Kids cannot express their discomfort when they’re Ill. A thermometer will help with knowing the temperature – but a toddler won’t be able to tell if they’re having a headache or feeling tired or if they’re having a blocked nose. It’s a mother’s experience and instinct that helps. Here is what to do (and not) when your toddler has a blocked nose:
Look for the first signs –
Babies are obligatory nose breathers. Meaning, they don’t know how to really use their mouth to breathe if their nasal passage is blocked. If they have a blocked nose while feeding/drinking milk out of a bottle, it may get very uncomfortable for them. Less oxygen going to the brain means impacting their early-age development as well. Hence, when you see signs of discomfort like keeping the mouth open while sleeping, being cranky, not eating or drinking their milk – they may have a blocked nose. If they have a temperature too, take them to the paediatrician. 
Hydration –
Make sure they get a lot of liquids, at room temperature and warm, to soothe and heal their throat faster. Water, clear soups, room temperature juices are some options. Remaining hydrated helps thin out the mucus and remove it from their system easily. This, of course, applies to adults as well. If they are being cranky, keep them hydrated, at regular intervals. You can use a straw or fancy glass to make it attractive.
Nasal spray/drops (consult your paediatrician before using the product) – 
To help the child sleep better, a nasal spray/drops that is made specially for babies/toddlers could be used. Opt for a nasal decongestant in an easy drop form, like Nasivion® Baby Nose Drops 0.01% for babies below 1 year. Its active ingredient Oxymetazoline is well tolerable on the nose and provides upto 12 hours of easy breathing. It unblocks the nose to help your baby play and learn in a more enjoyable way. Up to the age of 4 weeks, instil 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, instil 1-2 drops into each nostril 2-3 times per day or as directed by the physician.
For children aged between 1 to 6 years, you could opt for Nasivion® Child Nose Drops 0.025%. Instil 1-2 drops into each nostril 2-3 times per day or as directed by the physician/paediatrician.
Avoid the air-conditioner –
ACs tend to dry up and remove moisture from the area – which will only trouble and irritate the baby/toddler more. Humidity in the air helps the baby breathe better and removes mucus. If you stay in a place where the climate is dry, then you should try using a vaporizer/humidifier in the kid’s room.
Avoid sending them to playgroup/school –
This is obvious; but let them get plenty of rest and avoid sending them to school where they won’t get rest and may infect other children too. They may get bored at home, specially the toddlers, so keep them engaged, play some games with them, read those stories and allow a little extra screen time. Keep the noise low and lights dim. Like adults, while having cold even kids are very irritable and they may not know what is irritating them.