Tips To Help Your Baby Or Toddler When Their Nose Is Congested

If you are the parent of an infant or toddler who has a stuffy nose, you may be wondering why there are not decongestants available over-the-counter for their age group. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children under the age of 4 should not be given over-the-counter decongestant medications. So, then what can you do to help your little one breathe better? Here's what you should do.

Call Your Child's Doctor

The first thing to do is to call your child's doctor and get their recommendations for what you should do and what you should watch for. They will know what, if any, currently ongoing outbreaks of communicable and infectious diseases there may be within your community and/or your child's daycare facility or preschool. When you call the receptionist, he or she will ask you for a good call-back number, where the nurse will return a call to you with their recommendations.

Methods to Help Relieve Nasal Congestion

The nurse will give you some advice on what things you can do to alleviate your baby or toddler's nasal congestion, such as:

  • run a cool-mist humidifier
  • apply mentholated rub to their chest
  • use a saline nasal spray or drops
  • suction out nasal mucus 

If you don't have a cool-mist humidifier, turn on the shower and let the water run very hot so steam fills the bathroom. Then, take your child into the bathroom and try to get them to inhale the steam through their nose if possible. Children as young as 18 months can mimic you, so make a game of it by inhaling through your nostrils and see if they follow suit. 

Keep Them Hydrated

It's important that your child stay hydrated while they are ill, particularly if they are running a fever. However, it can be difficult for them to drink from a bottle or a sippy cup when they are unable to breathe through their nose, which can frustrate them. Because of this, it's a good idea to try the various methods listed above before offering your child a bottle or cup. 

Keep Track of Their Temperature & Fever Reducers

Take your child's temperature occasionally, particularly when they feel warm. If they have a fever, keep a log of the fevers and the fever reducers you give them. It's important to recognize that they will likely have difficulty taking the medication if their nose is congested, so be sure to try to alleviate their nasal congestion before giving them a dose of fever-reducing medication. 

Contact a child doctor to learn more.