What to Do for a 2 Year Old's Sinus Congestion

Sinus congestion occurs when a toddler has a respiratory illness or allergies. Congestion results in sinus pressure in the face and head that is painful for the toddler and a stuffy nose sensation that makes breathing difficult. The American Pediatrics Association doesn't recommend over-the-counter cold medicines, such as decongestants, to relieve sinus congestion in children until the age of 6. There are several home treatment methods that are effective in reducing sinus congestion. Caregivers should consult a health care provider before attempting to treat sinus congestion in a 2-year-old.

Toddler crying Credit: arnoaltix/iStock/Getty Images

Step 1

Encourage the child to sit upright or rest at an incline to facilitate mucus drainage out of the nose instead of deeper into the sinuses or down the throat.

Step 2

Push fluid intake. Any clear fluids can help thin mucus and make it less likely to clog the already swollen sinuses. Juices, water and broth-based soups are good choices. Milk may increase mucus production in some children; if this is the case, it is best to avoid milk until the congestion clears.

Step 3

Moisturize the child's nasal passages with a pediatric-sized saline nasal spray or homemade salt and water drops. To make homemade drops, place 1 tsp. of salt in 2 oz. of warm water. Use a dropper to insert the drops into the nasal passage. Following the spray, use a rubber bulb syringe to suction the mucus from the child's nose or assist the child in blowing her nose on tissue.

Step 4

Run a humidifier in the child's bedroom during sleep.

Things You'll Need

  • Pediatric nasal spray

  • 1 tsp. salt

  • 2 oz. warm water

  • Dropper

  • Rubber bulb syringe

  • Wash cloth

  • Humidifier

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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