HEALTH TIPS (SERIES 2) Part 2
For infants, one way to soften a nasal discharge is to use a vaporizer that will produce fresh, steam moistened air.
This will also prevent drying of the mucous membranes. In effect, it will also help to loosen the nasal discharge and then remove it from the passageway through sneezing or swallowing. Another way to relieve nasal stuffiness is to open the window so that fresh air can enter the room.
Sometimes your baby may sniff or snore for a few months after the first episode of colds. No need to worry and no treatment are necessary provided that your baby can breathe freely and easily. Besides, a cold is a self-limiting condition that will disappear in time. It should be allowed to run its course without any interference from synthetic medicines.
Decongestants are usually given to stop the flow of nasal discharge. However, they may have a rebound effect. They constrict the blood vessels of the nasal mucous membranes but after the effect of the drug had worn off, there is a subsequent dilatation of the blood vessels so that swelling and stuffiness of the nose are again noted.
If they are used frequently, they can dry and damage the nasal mucous membranes to produce a chronic nasal discharge that is foul-smelling and would cause thinning of the nasal bones.
For infants and younger children, use only water-based medications like a 1% sodium chloride solution that can be applied into the nose one drop at a time. It is readily available over the counter as a nasal drop preparation.
However, you can also make one at home. Add one teaspoon of table salt to 500 ml of water and boil the solution. Pour it into a clean glass bottle and use a dropper to put the solution into the nose. You can use it for 2 days but make sure that you sterilize the dropper in boiling water once a day. However, make sure that the solution is no longer boiling hot when you use it but only lukewarm. Otherwise, you might scald your baby.
For older children, there are natural remedies to relieve nasal congestion like the following:
Make a tent or cave by using 2 chairs placed on top of a sturdy table and lay cloths or towels over them. Boil chamomile tea in a stable pot. Put the pot at the center of the table but cover the pot with towels to prevent scalding. An adult can join a baby inside the tent but an older child can do it alone. The steam inhalation can last for 5-10 minutes in young children and 15 minutes in older children. Afterwards, move to a warm room for one hour.
2 % SALT SOLUTION
To make a 2 % salt solution, add 1 teaspoon of table salt to 250 ml of boiled water. Put the solution in a cup and sniff it up through the nose out of a cup and spit it out through the mouth. This is an effective way to clear the nasal passages but may not be comfortable. Since you are using a salt solution with a higher concentration compared to that of the nasal discharge, it will decrease swelling of the mucous membranes and as well as cause clearing of the nasal passages, including the entrance to the paranasal sinuses.
May your kids find relief when you use these simple home remedies. But more importantly, give them the tender loving care and attention that they need in a time like this.
Let them rest in your arms and find solace in your embrace as you help them recover from their illness.
The natural home remedies discussed in this article are not meant to treat or cure but are alternative guides to help alleviate the symptoms of common ailments in children. Should your child’s symptoms persist, consult with your friendly neighborhood pediatrician or family physician. Be Blessed! Be Loved! Be Healed!