Common cold is quite common, especially in young children. Before children turn two years old, they are likely to catch a cold, and some might even suffer from it 8 to 10 times a year.
The symptoms of such colds can range from fever to cough, runny or stuffed nose, congestion, and headaches. However, if we had to compare runny or stuffed noses, parents would rather have their child to have a runny nose over a stuffy nose, as a stuffed nose and congestion can be very difficult for children, especially at night.
Often parents struggle with relieving symptoms like nasal congestion and may turn to OTC medication. However, children under the age of 4 must not be given OTC cough and cold medications or pain killers. Parents should also stay away from antibiotics as cold is caused by viruses and not bacteria. Let us look at some of the best ways to help relieve blocked noses in children.
Best Ways to Relieve Blocked Nose & Congestion in Children
1. Steam Inhalation
Inhaling steam can help loosen the mucus in your child’s nasal passage and ease the congestion. You can use a traditional steam inhaler for this, but it is unlikely that your child will patiently sit through the process. So, alternatively, you can give them a warm bath in a room filled with steam. To create this effect, simply place a few towels or doormats at the bottom of your bathroom door to seal the gap. The steam from the running water will get captured within the room. Sit along with your child while they inhale the steam and play with them to keep them busy. Make sure that the room is not so hot that it irritates their skin. It would be ideal to add a few drops of essential oils like Eucalyptus, Tulsi, Camphor, Oregano etc. A few drops of Breathe Free Decongestant, Essential Oil mix would be a great and natural way to relieve nasal congestion for your little ones.
Air from humidifiers has the same effect that steam inhalation has. You can keep a humidifier running in your child’s room all day or turn it on when they sleep. See to it that they do not treat it as a toy. Clean the humidifier regularly as instructed in the manual so that there is no mold formation. You can add a few drops of essential oils or Breathe Free Decongestant to the water in the humidifier and let your child inhale the air. Humidifiers not only help with congestion but also help ease a dry cough.
3. Essential Oils
People commonly use essential oils to relieve cold, sinuses, stuffy and blocked nose, congestions, and other related symptoms. The most effective ones are eucalyptus, lemongrass, camphor, tulsi, rosemary, oregano, lavender, peppermint, and tea tree oil. You can add a few drops of these oils to your child’s humidifier, apply a few drops on their chest or make them inhale them gently. Breath-Free Decongestant is a great option here since it is a blend of seven of these essential oils with no artificial ingredients. You can use 2-3 drops of it on your child to see the effects.
4. Bulb Suction Devices
A great way to relieve congestion is by blowing one’s nose, but children may not be able to do that. It is where bulb suction devices come in. Press the bulb and gently insert the tip of the suction bulb in your child’s nostril while you close the other gently. Release the bulb so that the mucus gets pulled in. After removing the tube, release it into a tissue paper, wipe and repeat with the other nostril. A word of caution here is that not all children might sit quietly or be comfortable when you do this.
5. Saline Nasal Sprays
While you can use OTC nasal sprays that are suited for children, you can even make one at home with salt and warm water. You can even complement your nasal spray with a bulb suction device for even better results.
6. Plenty of Fluids
Make sure your child drinks lots of fluids in the form of water and juices when they are suffering from a cold. It will help them easily cough up some of the mucus and will also keep them from getting dehydrated if they are running a fever.
7. Warm Soups
You can give your child different types of soups like chicken soup or lentil soup. It will not only help ease the congestion due to the warmth, but it is also very nutritious. When suffering from a cold, children usually do not feel like eating. Giving them soups will also make sure they eat something.
8. Head Elevated Sleeping Position
Congestion gets worse at night as the sinuses cannot get drained when one is lying down. It makes it even more difficult to breathe. Often children will sleep with their mouths open when their nose is blocked, and it tends to make them thirsty and have a night of very disturbed sleep. Make your child lie in an elevated position by placing a few pillows under their head. If you have a reclining chair, making them sleep on it might be much more comfortable for them.
These are some great remedies that will help you relieve your child’s congestion easily and free up their stuffy nose. Most of the time, such colds go away on their own but if your child runs a high fever or you see that they are very sick, consult a pediatrician who will prescribe medicines. Otherwise, if it’s just a stuffy nose, these remedies will work wonders. Antibiotic overuse & misuse must be avoided.