Using Nasal Sprays with Children
Often the inside of the nose is swollen and full of mucus or fluid. This can lead to breathing problems or distress in young children. Many children begin to breathe only through their mouth and may even begin to wheeze due to post-nasal drip. A low-dose nasal steroid spray can help with this. Your child may be able to breathe and feel better. This medicine is sprayed right into the nose. You will need a prescription from your doctor. Common low-dose nasal steroid sprays are:
- Nasacort AQÒ
Nasal saline helps to clean the nasal passages before using a low-dose nasal steroid spray. Nasal saline washes help remove mucus or fluid blocking the inside of the nose so that the nasal steroid spray can work better. Please follow recommendations given to you at your visit but which product is best for you will likely depend on your age.
For infants and younger children:
A nasal saline spray can be bought over-the-counter (Ocean SprayÒ ,Kids Mist or any generic brand nasal saline). Please reference Health Facts For You #6726 for how to use a nasal saline spray with infants and young children.
Older children or adults:
A nasal wash will be more effective. Over the counter products include: Sinu CleanseÒ (bottle) or Nettipot (teapot). (see Health Facts for You #5437). This system should be used only with the older child or teen. Your doctor will help you decide what will work best for your child.
You may not see a change in your child’s breathing or a decrease in the stuffy nose for many days, but it is vital to use the sprays daily for them to work.
Your provider may change how often your child will need to do use the washes and sprays. Your child may benefit from routine saline washing without the use of a steroid spray. Your doctor will let you know what to use for your child.
If any of these side effects occur, call your doctor
- Bad taste
- Nasal dryness
- Dry mouth
- Mild nose bleeds
How to clean the supplies
For commercial products please read the package insert. You may need to clean the outside of the nasal spray with a warm, damp cloth or soak in a vinegar/water mixture weekly to disinfect.
If you are using a bulb syringe, clean it once a week. Simply swish and squeeze in warm, soapy water and rinse well in tap water. Let it air dry overnight.
If you have any questions, please call __________________.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 07/18/2011
Copyright © 07/18/2011 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5737
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