Watching your child suffer from a sinus infection can be difficult. How could it not be, with symptoms like:
- Nasal congestion
- Drainage or discharge from the nose
Sounds dreadful, right? Rest assured, sinus infections are easily treatable and usually do not signify major cause for concern.
Causes of Sinus Infection
Sinus infections occur when the air cavities within the passages of the nose become inflamed. This is usually caused by one of the following:
- A virus
- Particulate irritation (i.e. dust, smoke)
When To See A Doctor
Most sinus infections in children last for a short period of time and will go away on their own without treatment.
There are some instances of sinus infection, however, where you will want to get your child to see a doctor. Do so when your child complains of or is experiencing:
- Sinus problems lasting longer than 2 days
- Pain in the face
- A fever
- Nasal discharge that is clear at first, then becomes thick and colored
Once you’ve consulted with your child’s doctor, he or she may be prescribed antibiotics.
If the potential side-effects of antibiotics (nausea, diarrhea, further difficulty breathing) are concerning to you and your child, or the symptoms are not serious enough to warrant a doctor’s visit, consider the following natural remedies.
If you decide to forgo medication for your child, be sure to discuss this with their doctor.
Natural Remedies For Sinus Infection
1. Herbal Steam Vapor
Few things will provide as much instant relief for your child’s sinus problems as inhalation of vapor. While regular hot water vapor will help, you can take things a step further by infusing the water with an antibiotic herb like peppermint, thyme, sage, rosemary or ginger.
You have plenty of choices – Why not have your child try a few to see what they like best?
The process is the same no matter which herb you choose. Boil 4 cups of water in a large glass or ceramic bowl. Then, add one teaspoon of the herb of your choice.
Have your child hold their head about 6 inches above the bowl and instruct them to inhale.
2. Garlic Drink
Garlic is one of nature’s most powerful antibiotics. If your child’s sinus problem is caused by a bacterial infection, a garlic drink can work wonders, and can help give his or her body the fighting power it needs.
Juice four cloves of garlic along with two tomatoes. Add a lemon for added antibacterial properties (think citrus) and have your child drink several times daily.
3. Nasal Irrigation
Running fluid through your child’s sinuses can help remove any built up mucus and clear congestion that causes discomfort and prevents them from sleeping.
Nasal irrigation will also help clear up inflammation and fight any potential bacteria causing your child’s infection or making it worse.
Begin by boiling tap water to kill off any bacteria in it. This will also help the salt dissolve into the water properly.
How much salt should you use? A quarter of a teaspoon will be more or less equivalent to the concentration of salt in the human body. That’s the amount doctors typically recommend.
If your child is over the age of five and has severe congestion, you can up the salt content to half a teaspoon.
Place the saline solution in a bulb and have your child squirt it through one nostril and drain before moving on to the next.