As a parent, it's difficult to hear your child suffering with severe congestion. However, with the rate at which cold bugs spread through school, you can expect that your youngster will be nursing the symptoms of a cold — including congestion — several times a year. In many cases, plenty of rest, fluids, and some healthy foods will encourage the cold bug to buzz off in a few days. In other cases, you might be concerned enough about your child's symptoms that you wish to book an appointment with his or her pediatrician. In the days until you're able to get in, you can try these effective ways to reducing your child's congestion.
A very hot shower that produces lots of steam can be valuable for breaking up severe congestion. You don't need to place your child in the shower, though — in fact, having him or her outside the shower will allow you to crank up the heat as hot as it will go. Close the bathroom door and let the steam build. Then, instruct your child to take deep breaths of the steam. If the child is young, you can demonstrate this tactic yourself. The more the child breathes in the steam, the more it can help to loosen the mucus so that it can be coughed up.
A neti pot can be a challenge for younger children, but if your child is older and you believe he or she would be OK with it, a neti pot is a valuable way to break up nasal congestion. You can buy a neti pot at many pharmacies, and then fill this teapot-shaped health device with distilled water. You'll need to get your child to lay on his or her side, and then you put the spout of the neti pot in one nostril and gently pour. The distilled water travels through the sinuses and works to dislodge sticky mucus. When the child blows his or her nose, he or she should experience relief.
Another home-based approach that you can use to lessen your child's congestion before you're able to get in to see the pediatrician is to tap his or her chest and back. Keeping your hands slightly cupped so that you avoid a slapping motion (and the associated discomfort) you can tap the child over the lungs. This sudden pressure can help to loosen the mucus when it's in the lungs, and some coughing and nose blowing can often get it out.
For more information, contact establishments like Kitsap Children's Clinic LLP.
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