nasalChildren’s nasal congestion is a problem that every parent has to deal with at some point. Especially with the spring here, there is a good chance that parents will have to contend with this issue at least for a few days during the season. A challenge for parents is finding effective ways to help their children breathe better.

The good news is that the more parents know about nasal congestion and what to do about it, the better off the baby will be. Here are 6 things every parent needs to know about nasal congestion:

  1. It’s common. Nasal congestion is a common condition among children. The problem is that with babies it can have a serious impact on feeding and sleeping, while with older children it is usually just an inconvenience.
  2. Beware bulb syringes. The blue bulb syringe that the hospital sends you home with after delivery, like everything in the hospital, is meant to be disposable. Instead, we reuse them over and over again, exposing our children and their siblings repeatedly to the germs we just removed from their noses. Bulb syringes can often not be cleaned out and are just not that effective at removing nasal mucus.
  3. Reasons vary. Nasal congestion can have many different causes, including common cold, flu, sinus infection, and allergies. Incidence of allergy soars in the spring, resulting in many more children with nasal congestion.
  4. Swollen membranes The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that congestion is often due to swollen mucus membranes and it creates a situation where the mucus has difficulty passing through the swollen area. While swollen membranes will not be addressed by nasal aspiration, removing excess mucus can still provide significant relief in children.
  5. Possible interference. Babies breathe through their noses during the first few months, often referred to as ‘obligate nose breathing.’ According to the NIH, nasal congestion can interfere with other things, such as sleep, nursing, hearing and speech development.
  6. Using effective treatments. Many products on the market are not all that effective in helping to clear nasal mucus in children. Choosing the right product makes all the difference. For example, the Baby Comfy Nose nasal aspirator, available at all Walgreens retail locations, is the most effective method to remove deep nasal mucus and is easy to use.