Cough and cold is a common concern in children and most children in their younger days suffer from it almost all the days of the year. However, doctors say that 6-8 incidences of cold and cough are common among children in a year. They have also said that a runny nose in a child is a good thing as it is the body’s way of getting rid of germs, but sometimes the mucus gets thick that congests the child’s chest and nose giving him a stuffy head. It is then that the situation not just gets uncomfortable for the child but the parents too. A congested and stuffy nose makes it difficult for the child to breathe, eat or sleep.
Here are a few home treatments that you might try to make your child comfortable:
This drop can be bought at any pharmaceutical store. Put a few drops into each nostril followed by a bulb syringe to pull out some mucus. It is safe to repeat as many times as needed. You can try doing this right before your baby’s mealtime so that your baby can eat with ease. However using a bulb syringe can be easier if your kid is under 6 months old, but not for older babies. You can just use the saline drop to thin the mucus and let it flow out of the nose on its own.
Use a vaporizer
A cool-mist vaporizer or a humidifier is a very good addition to your baby’s room to clear the stuffy nose. But you must clean the machine regularly to prevent the growth of mold.
You can also get the same effect if you sit with your baby in a steamy bathroom. Run hot water in the shower for some time and turn your normal bathroom into a steam room. This will soothe the baby of the congested nose.
Warm food and enough fluids
You can treat your children’s congestion and stuffy nose by offering him some warm food. Warm water with honey, ginger tea or the good old-fashioned chicken soup is great to provide warmth to the body and thin out the mucus. If your child is an infant, breast milk will help. The warm breast milk has enough antibodies to fight the congestion and give relief. However, take some time to breastfeed him. With a stuffy nose, he might not be able to suck in properly.
Also, make sure that your child is not dehydrated when he is having a cold. Dehydration during this time often thickens the mucus leading to congestion and stuffy nose.
When your child is congested it gets difficult for him to sleep well. The congestion gets worse when lying down. So roll up a towel or place a higher pillow so that the head stays elevated and it can reduce congestion.
Another way to soothe your child with congestion is a lot of rest. While your child may face difficulty lying down with a stuffy nose, here’s what you can do. Set up a warm play area for your child in the corner of the room with carpets and blankets. Place pillows and cushions with some story books, coloring books, some toys, building blocks or just his favourite movie. Stay with your child and keep him quietly occupied. Give him a break from school.
While these are some home remedies to soothe your child, always talk to a paediatrician before administering OTC cough syrups. And if your child is also having a fever above 100.5 degrees F, visit the doctor.