As a mom to a little girl diagnosed with chronic sinusitis at age 4, I use these 8 ways to alleviate sinus issues in kids nearly every week! Start using them tonight to help your little ones finally get some relief!
When my oldest daughter was born, she almost immediately started to have trouble sleeping and seemed tired all the time! Thus began a 4 year journey to figure out exactly what was going on. She had her tonsils and adenoids removed, which helped some. We discovered through an upper endoscopy that she had silent reflux and began to treat that. Yet the problem of excessive tiredness continued.
As a mom I knew this could be a symptom of a myriad of conditions, some very serious. So I was obviously worried.
Finally a wonderful ENT doctor put us on the right path. He did a panoramic X-Ray of Banana Boat that showed BOTH of her maxillary sinuses were completely blocked. This came as a shock since she didn’t have any major signs of a sinus infection. Multiple X-Rays since that point a year ago have always shown the same result, despite antibiotics.
The ENT feels that her sinus openings are just too narrow and thus any inflammation closes the area off and infection is able to set in. Sinus surgery will likely be in her future but through all of these years, I have learned a great deal about treating symptoms and giving her relief.
Note that these tips are not meant to treat a sinus infection. I believe in antibiotics and steroids when needed. But since many children (and adults) suffer through sinus symptoms without a full blown infection, these should help!
1. Use a Cool Mist Humidifier Every Night – We run ours year round because putting that moisture back into the air really makes a difference. Many sinus sufferers mouth breathe and have a sore throat so you want the air to be as full of moisture as possible. We have tried many different brands but the one we feel is the most effective AND easy to clean is the Vicks Ultrasonic Humidifier.
2. Have Your Child Tested for Allergies – I always thought my Banana Boat had allergies because of the dark circles under her eyes but no one would listen. Her ENT did and once we tested her, discovered she was allergic to molds, pollens, animals and the list goes on and on. We then began her on “immunotherapy” regimen…aka Allergy Shots. We are a year in and still haven’t reached her maintenance level but I’ve definitely noticed improvement.
3. Give Your Child Allergy Medicine – If you notice that during certain times of the year your child has a clear runny nose, itchy cough, watery eyes, and/or is more tired, it could be allergies. A simple pill a day can work wonders. We have tried most all of the major brands and found that Claritin kids works best for us. But try different ones and see what works best.
4. Use Saline Nasal Spray – I keep 3 cans of saline nasal spray all around the house because it is such a simple way to provide some sinus relief. I have found that 2 sprays in each nostril twice a day provides a lot of relief and really helps to flush out all the gunk stuck up Banana’s nose. An important note here – Keep separate bottles of saline spray for each of your kids. I label mine with a piece of blue tape. The last thing you want to do is take the germs and bacteria from one kid and shoot it up into the sinuses of another one!
5. Elevate the Bed/Pillow – When you are dealing with a sinus infection or just sinus symptoms, a big one is drainage down the back of your throat. This in turn causes that aggravating cough that keeps your child up. Banana’s is so bad that she many times will throw up from irritating that gag reflex over and over. I find that by putting two firm pillows under the top of her mattress and folding a small blanket under her pillow, she is propped up enough to circumvent that problem 90% of the time.
6. Give Your Child a Warm Steamy Shower – This allows the junk in their nose to loosen and be blown out more easily. I have been known to give my girls two of these a day on their worst days. And no worries if your little one doesn’t like the warm water. A simple trick around that is to give your child a bath in a bathroom with a separate shower and tub. I close all the doors, run a regular bath for my girls, turn the shower to full heat and open the shower door. This works just as well.
7. Use a Personal Steam Inhaler – Does anyone remember Caruso curlers??? The foam rollers worked by setting them on a plastic compartment with steam produced from boiling water? Well my mom used to have us take off the top of that compartment, create an enclosure around our face with a towel, and have us breathe in when we had sinus and allergy issues. She was a smart lady!
Now they make a machine just for that and it’s a lot safer to use! Ha! We use the Vick’s Personal Steam Inhaler.
You fill a small compartment with water, twist on the flexible plastic top and hover your face over the steam outlet. You can adjust how much or how little steam you want to come out. This will feel awkward for your child the first couple of times but my 5 year old was able to do it great by her third time.
8. Run a Diffuser with Essential Oils – I am probably late on the bandwagon for essential oils. I have heard my friends talking about them for years but had quite honestly poopoo’d any notion of them actually doing anything.
That is until one of my dearest friends, who writes Your Modern Family blog, got me into the Young Living Essential Oils. I am hooked! On a recent bad night for my oldest daughter (think runny nose, headache, coughing at night, etc), I plugged in the diffuser and used the Young Living Kid’s Sniffle-EZ essential oil mixture. She did not wake one time! She quit coughing and was able to get some very good restorative sleep that night. So I continued it every night since!
I hope these tips help your little ones during those rough allergy and sinus periods. Remember, these will not take the place of a doctor’s appointment or a round of antibiotics for a sinus infection. But treating the symptoms can be half the battle when helping to make your child feel better!