Sinus Infections and Children
Sinus infections result in congestion and pounding headaches that can progress to coughing and fever. In some children, a sinus infection can lead to a systemic infection and dehydration if not treated. If your child’s face on either side of the nose or above the nose is painful to the touch, they probably have a sinus infection. If your child is too ill to engage in her normal activities and play, consult your doctor or health-care practitioner.
Look for herbal remedies that are specially formulated for sinus infections and allergy problems and herbal teas that contain elderflowers, hibiscus, rose hips, sage, or thyme. To boost immunity and fight infection, use extracts of astragalus, echinacea, or goldenseal in water or juice two to three times a day.
Diet is important for a child who has a sinus infection: Make sure your child gets enough vitamins A and C and zinc. Limit dairy products and wheat to slow mucus production. And clear your child’s system with drinks such as diluted fruit juices, hot lemonade, and Fresh Horseradish Sinus Drink.
Steam treatments can be beneficial. Turn on the shower, close the drain, and add a few drops of essential oil, such as eucalyptus, lavender, pine, or tea tree, to the water. Fill your bathroom with steam, and let your child breathe in the steam and vapor. Or, use lavender bath salts for a soothing bath.
Gently massage the child’s face with a warm, damp washcloth. You can also make a massage oil by combining one drop of lavender or eucalyptus essential oil and one tablespoon of olive oil or apricot kernel oil. If your child finds massage too painful, just continue with the steam treatments.
- 4 ounces peeled, grated fresh horseradish root
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup raw organic honey
- Hefty pinch of sea salt, I like Himalayan
- Mix the grated horseradish with the honey, vinegar, and sea salt.
- Place the mixture to a labeled glass jar and store it in the refrigerator for about a year.
- Take 1-2 teaspoons of the mixture once a day to get your sinuses moving. It is hot—which is exactly what makes it effective—so be prepared. Take the mixture straight as medicine, on toast as a tapenade, or enjoy it on crackers or mixed into rice, noodles, or vegetables. Not great for small children or people who do not like spicy foods. Some small kids love spicy foods. My eldest son loved this.
Using a Neti Pot
If your older child often has sinus congestion and sinus infections, consider teaching them how to use a neti pot for regular sinus irrigation and cleansing. A neti pot is a small, almost teapot-shape pot that is filled with lukewarm saltwater. Your child should put the pot’s spout in one nostril and pour the water into the nostril, letting it drain through the sinuses and out the other nostril. You can buy neti pots in drugstores, health-food stores, and online. Make sure you use distilled, filtered, bottled, or boiled water at room temperature, don’t use tape water.
Most neti pots come with instructions; use them as directed. The important thing to remember is to use salt water. Using water out of the tap without added salt can cause painful stinging. The salt used in the neti pot should contain no chemicals or anticaking agents and should be free of iodine. Sea salt, kosher salt, or pharmaceutical-grade salt are all good choices. You can also find saline sprays you can use for sinus infections.
Have your child use the neti pot once or twice a week to cut down on sinus congestion and infections. Neti pots are also useful for kids who have allergies or get a lot of colds.
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