A runny nose is a common problem in children and it usually happens when there is too much mucus fluid in the nasal cavity. It can be a symptom of a common cold, exposure to possible irritants or cold temperatures or the result of crying. It can also cause a cough, irritability, sore throat, sneezing, fever, upset stomach or poor appetite, and sleep disturbance.
Medication cannot cure a runny nose and the only thing parents can do is wait for it to go away or try some natural remedies to promote faster recovery and reduce discomfort.
- Saline Rinse
A saline rinse helps loosen up the mucus, making it more comfortable and easier to expel. Your child will be finally able to breathe through the nose. What you have to do is mix 1/4 teaspoon of table salt in a cup of water which has been boiled and cooled at room temperature. Add a few drops of this saline solution into one nostril while tipping the child’s head. Use a bulb syringe to suck out excess mucus, while closing with your fingers the other nostril. Do the same for the other nostril. Do not repeat the procedure more than three times a day.
Steam clears out excess mucus, helping ease the discomfort of a runny nose. For small children, turn the shower on full hot and turn the bathroom into a steam room. Sit there with your child for about 15 minutes. Repeat the procedure 2-3 times a day. For older children, use a facial steamer. Use a bowl of hot water and make sure your child leans over it with a towel over his/her head. Let your child breathe in the steam for 5-10 minutes, then tell him/her to blow his/her nose.
- Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus works as a decongestant. Add 4-5 drops of eucalyptus oil into the warm bath water. Let your child take a relaxing bath for 10 minutes. You can also mix 10 drops of eucalyptus essential oil with ½ cup of warm extra-virgin olive oil and massage your child’s chest with this oil, preferably before bedtime.
Honey is an effective remedy for children older than 2 years. Honey has soothing antiviral and antibacterial properties. Mix 2 tablespoons of raw honey into a glass of warm water, and give it to your child to drink. You can also add ½ teaspoon of fresh lemon juice.
The plant relieves the discomfort and symptoms of a runny nose, and it also boosts immunity. Add one teaspoon of dried chamomile flowers to two cups of boiling water. Cover and let it steep for 5 minutes. You can add honey. Give this tea to your child twice a day.
A runny nose can be a significant discomfort for your child. Try keeping his/her room comfortably warm, cuddle with him/her in a rocking chair to make him/her feel better and dress him/her lightly. Keep his/her head slightly elevated when he/she sleeps, to help him/her breathe better.