What Are Signs of a Sinus Infection in a Baby?

When a baby contracts a cold, the linings of her nose and sinus cavities become swollen. Often, when the baby recovers from the cold, the swelling disappears. But sometimes the swelling persists, blocking the places where the sinuses drain into the back of the nose and filling the sinuses with fluid where bacteria grows, causing a sinus infection that requires treatment. Parents can help their babies if they recognize the signs of a sinus infection.

Parents can help their babies if they recognize the signs of a sinus infection. (Image: Kevin Peterson/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Cold Symptoms that Persist

The American Academy of Pediatrics says that cold symptoms such as a cough and nasal discharge that last more than 10 days without any improvement could indicate the presence of a sinus infection. The key persistent cold symptom parents should watch out for, BabyCenter.com says, is nasal congestion that goes on for more than 10 days.

Nasal Discharge

If babies have thick mucus coming out of their noses, that could be a sign of a sinus infection, says the American Academy of Pediatrics. BabyCenter.com says that the nasal discharge may appear either yellow or green in color.

Swelling

A sinus infection in a baby may cause swelling around his eyes, especially in the morning, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, which urges parents to call a doctor if they notice swelling and redness or even just redness around an infant's eyes throughout all times of the day. BabyCenter.com says that swelling associated with a sinus infection in a baby can appear around both the eyes and nose, and look like a black eye.

Fever

A fever that lasts for at least three or four days in a row may be a sign of a sinus infection, the American Academy of Pediatrics cautions. BabyCenter.com says that the fever associated with a sinus infection in a baby is often ongoing low-grade fever, which is a temperature above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius, but under 103 degrees Fahrenheit or 39.4 degrees Celsius. Anytime infants have a fever which measures 103 degrees Fahrenheit or 39.4 degrees Celsius or higher, BabyCenter.com says, parents should notify a doctor right away. However, if parents suspect that their babies may be suffering from sinus infections, they should call their pediatrician even if the infant's fevers islow, because sinus infections usually require treatment with antibiotics, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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