A stuffy nose which is a symptom of common cold can be readily managed at home. In most cases, an indication that a child has common cold is runny or congested nose. The nasal mucus is clear initially but becomes thick and turns yellowish or greenish in color after some time. The other symptoms present include low-grade fever, coughing, sneezing episodes, diminished appetite, difficulty sleeping and irritability.
Suctioning of nasal secretions
Infants are not capable of blowing their own noses, thus it is vital to suction out the nasal secretions. For the best results, you can utilize saline drops or use salt water before using a bulb syringe.
The saline drops help moisten the thick dry mucus and makes the process easier and less traumatic for the child. You can find saline drops in the market or create your own solution using a cup of warm water mixed with ¼ teaspoon of salt until completely dissolved.
Insert the bulb syringe about ¼-½ into the nasal passages. Squeeze the base of the bulb syringe and then insert into the infant’s nose and release to withdraw the nasal secretions. A tissue should be on hand nearby to dispose of the nasal mucus and repeat the process until the nose is clear or the child is able to breathe comfortably. After the procedure, clean the bulb syringe using soapy, warm water.
Moisten the air
There are 2 ways to moisten the air – humidifier and steam from a hot shower. When a humidifier is used, it must be placed in the room of the child while he/she is sleeping. This is beneficial for a stuffy nose since it facilitates the loosening of the nasal secretions. Make sure that the humidifier is pointed away from the bed to minimize the risk of moist blankets. Always change the water and clean the unit using a disinfectant on a daily basis to reduce the risk for mold growth.
Another option to loosen a stuffy nose is to sit with the child in a bathroom with the hot shower on. Simply sit outside the shower while it is running. The steam produced by the shower is similar to a mist from a humidifier. Only a few minutes is required to achieve an effect. In addition, it is vital to keep the infant properly hydrated by providing extra fluids.
Positioning of the child
It is also beneficial for the child to sleep with the head slightly elevated. This can be accomplished by placing a cushion or pillow below the top of the mattress where his/her head is positioned while sleeping. In case there are no spare cushions or pillows, you can use books as well. In addition, you can have the child sleep in an infant car seat to keep the head elevated so that breathing is a lot easier.