According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an advisory that over-the-counter cough and cold medications should not be used in infants and children under the age of two. Sinus congestion is uncomfortable for infants and worrisome for parents. It is caused by the inflammation of the nasal passage lining. The congestion leads to headaches, difficulty breathing through the nose, sneezing, coughing, and watery eyes. Congestion can be due to allergies, the common cold, and other illnesses. Sinus congestion is often treated at home unless it leads to serious feeding difficulties or is accompanied by a fever.
Humidify the Air
Nasal passages can be irritated by warm, dry air. Placing a commercial humidifier in the room with your child while she sleeps can add moisture to the air. The AAP recommends a cool mist humidifier or a vaporizer be placed several feet away from the baby's bed. The moisture in the air can help relieve the inflammation of the nasal passages. It can also reduce the chances of a sore throat in the morning if your child is forced to breathe through her mouth because of the congestion.
Saline nasal spray contains a mixture of salt and water. It comes in different sized bottles to fit the nose of infants and children. Small infants can receive the nasal spray lying down and as drops instead of mist. Once the infant is a bit older, she can have a small mist of the saline solution sent up her nose. The solution will add moisture to the nasal passages and the saline will help loosen the mucus that is causing the congestion. According to the AAP, increasing the fluid intake of a baby and using saline solution will thin the mucus that is blocked in the sinuses.
Until a baby is old enough to blow her nose, a bulb syringe may be used to remove the mucus from her nasal passages. This syringe has a long thin spout with a round bulb at the end. By squeezing the bulb suction is created. To remove mucus, the parent must squeeze the bulb, place the syringe tip slightly inside the nose, and quickly release the bulb. It is important to cleanse the syringe with warm water and soap to remove germs and mucus residue. Older babies may be able to blow their nose frequently enough to remove the mucus that has been loosened.