Health and Wellness

How to soothe your child's nasal congestion?

Dr Himani Khanna
3 to 7 years

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How to soothe your childs nasal congestion

It is that time of the year – the time when your child could fall prey to nasal congestion. Nasal congestion is another term for a blocked nose. This is a common problem that children face during change of season and the most common causes are flu, allergy, sinus infection or environmental irritants. There could be other triggers as well but essentially a blocked nose translates into mucus buildup or a swollen nasal tissue.


The home remedies suggested below may be enough to ease your child’s nose woe, particularly if it is caused by the common cold. In the case of flu or sinus infection, the congestion typically goes away in about a week. If these remedies do not work or if the congestion is getting to be chronic and long-term, you should seek medical treatment. You could also consider using a nasal spray, which brings immediate relief.


Remedies for nasal congestion:


Using a humidifier or a vaporizer is a good idea to clear the blockage! Humidifiers and vaporizers are commonly used in people's homes to get more moisture into the air and to counteract dryness in the nose. Yes, it is important that a newborn breathes clean air. A vaporizer literally vaporizes germs by converting water to steam, which then kills any bacteria present. It is an easy and effective way to cure a stuffy nose in your child.


For an older child, over 4 years, a long warm shower or a soak in a tub with some salt can help to relieve the condition. If your child is cooperative, try steam inhalation but do this under your close supervision only.


Feed your child soups and keep him/her well-hydrated. The intake of warm fluids helps to keep the nasal mucosa well moisturised and prevent the nasal secretions from turning thick and further blocking the nasal passage. Peppermint tea can work wonders!


Another effective way to combat nasal congestion is to put a wet towel on your child’s face. It relieves the discomfort by opening your nasal passages.


Nasal congestion at night is worse. Your child is likely to get more restless, uneasy and have trouble falling asleep. You can try this: Put an extra pillow under your child’s head – a slight elevation of the head at the time of sleeping makes breathing at night more comfortable. However, don’t make this a regular practice.


One may try using eucalyptus oil. Put 2-3 drops on a handkerchief and ask your child to breathe in the smell. This is a highly effective remedy for children suffering from nasal congestion, because of its decongestant and anti-inflammatory properties.


Use black pepper powder, fresh garlic, ginger juice and turmeric in your everyday cooking – these ingredients have anti-allergic properties and have been in use since time immemorial to prevent and treat nasal congestion.


Did you find the tips given by Dr Himani Khanna useful? Do try and let us know. Does your child also suffer from a frequent blocked nose situation? Which home remedies or medical treatments have been most effective for your child? Do share (in the comments section below) and help fellow parents ease out the ‘blocked’ situation in their children. 


Disclaimer: A special initiative powered by Otrivin to help you breathe easy. Always use as directed on pack

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| Apr 09, 2017

my elder son is 9year old and he always breath from mouth. when he was 3year old we asked to an ENT doctors he told us that my son's one nasel was blocked and have to be operate. then we asked to our pediatrician he told us no need of that it is quite normal it will be cleared by itself but now he is got habbit ed to breathe from mouth so pls tell me is it ok or any treatment is for this problem pls tell me

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Neha Mehta

| Mar 25, 2017

hello Dr.. .my daughter is 3. 5 yrs had nasal congestion Dr suggested x-ray it is found tat her adenoids have some swelling and slightly sinus... her immunity towards cold is to less.... she is taking Tablet Singulair and nasal spray.... Can you please suggest some home remedies

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Shreya Rajvanshi

| Mar 23, 2017

Hello Dr Himani, though my children are slightly older, they occasionally suffer from nasal congestion. So how effective are these remedies on older children?

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Canisha Kapoor

| Mar 23, 2017

Hi Dr Himani, thank you for such clear and crisp pointers on nasal congestion. My daughter makes this wheezing sound especially during the night is it related to nasal congestion and is it something to worry about? Please do help. Thanks.

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