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Nasal Congestion

  • We don’t routinely recommend over-the-counter decongestants for children under 6 years. Most have not been shown to help; often the combinations of medications can potentially be dangerous.

  • You can use over the counter nasal saline drops--flushing in each nostril before feeding or sleeping.

  • In younger children, using  nasal suction (either with an infant bulb, NoseFrida, or similar aspirator) to remove congestion from the nose shortly after saline can help.

  • It may also help to have your child play in the bathroom with the shower running, as the steam can help with the congestion.

  • We should see your child in the office if you’re worried that your child is having difficulty breathing or is consistently breathing fast.

  • Occasionally, pseudoephedrine will be suggested for older children who have nasal congestion related to seasonal allergies. As there can be a variety of side effects, caution when using pseudoephedrine should be observed.

Seasonal Allergies

  • Symptoms of seasonal allergies include: itchy, stuffy or runny nose, itchy and red eyes, cough, sore throat, trouble sleeping. 

  • Seasonal allergies symptoms usually do not appear in children less than 2 years old. If your younger child has these symptoms, it likely is from a cause that is not allergies.

  • Treatment for allergies includes:

    • limiting outdoor activities when pollen counts are high (sites can help you determine when this)

    • keeping car and house windows closed, and using air conditioning instead

    • taking a shower before bed to rinse pollen off the hair and skin

    • using a HEPA filter air purifier

    • nasal saline sprays and rinses after being outdoors 

  • There are also a variety of over the counter medications for allergy symptoms. These include:

    •  Nasal saline sprays and rinses (little noses or simply saline) regularly, especially after being outdoors.

    • Medicated eye drops: ketotifen (zaditor, alaway), olopatadine (patanol), or azelastine (optivar) as needed.

    •  Nasal steroids: fluticasone (flonase), or triamcinolone (nasacort). While likely the most effective treatment, and while these start to work within hours of starting, they must be used consistently for days (and sometimes weeks) before they are fully effective.

    • Oral antihistamines: we recommend cetirizine (zyrtec) or fexofenadine (allegra). These come in liquid form or chewable tablets for younger kids. These can be taken as needed. 

  • You should not have to spend more by paying for the brand name of medications listed above. Ask your pharmacy if they are not stocking the generic form of the medications listed above.

  • If you’ve tried these measures and still need help, please contact our office to schedule an appointment with us.

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