The National Library of Medicine (NLM) reports that there are over 1 billion colds in the United States per year, with children averaging 3 to 8 colds per year. Sinus infections are a common complication of colds. The sinuses are spaces of air created by the bones of the skull. They are lined with mucus membranes, and warm and moisten the air we breathe. When this membrane becomes swollen and inflamed, sinusitis occurs. A sinus infection can be triggered by allergies and colds, which both involve increased mucus production and compromised mucus drainage. According to the Nemours Foundation, this promotes bacterial growth and can lead to sinusitis. Learning valuable information on natural home remedies for your child’s sinus infection can help her quickly recover.
Mucus membranes are designed to operate in a moist environment. Dry air damages them and compromises their ability to fight off and recover from infection. The Nemours Foundation recommends using a humidifier to support the health of your child’s sinus membranes. Additionally, the NLM suggests more intensive steam therapy by letting a hot shower run and sitting with your child in the bathroom two to four times per day.
To help reduce congestion, the NLM advises the use of a warm, moist washcloth applied to your child’s face. Be sure the washcloth is warm but not hot. This will help relieve the discomfort as well as promote mucus drainage.
Staying hydrated can help loosen mucus secretions and allow them to be cleared from your child’s sinuses, according to the Mayo Clinic. Offer your child plenty of water and juices and remind her to drink throughout the day.
The Mayo Clinic recommends the use of a nasal lavage to help clear infected sinuses. Using a squeeze bottle or bulb syringe especially designed for this purpose, gently rinse your child's nasal passages with a saline solution. The NLM advises this treatment several times per day.
The National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) states that vitamin C supports the immune system and promotes healing. To help your child fight his sinus infection, be sure his diet includes plenty of vitamin C-rich foods such as citrus, strawberries, cantaloupe and broccoli. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin C for children 1 to 3 years of age is 15 mg. For children 4 to 8 years of age, the RDA is 25 mg, increasing to 45 mg for children 9 to 13 years of age.
Vitamin A helps support healthy mucus membranes, according to the ODS, and is needed for your child’s sinuses to return to their healthy condition. The RDA for children 1 to 3 years of age is 1,000 IU; 1,320 IU for children 4 to 8 years of age; and 2,000 IU for children 9 to 13 years of age. Dairy products provide vitamin A, as well as carrots, apricots, spinach and cantaloupe.