(Natural News) A sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, is a common condition both in adults and children. The latter, however, is more vulnerable to infection and should require more care than their grown-up counterparts.
While no parent wants to see his or her child suffer, it’s important to note that going to the doctor for antibiotics isn’t going to help. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that most infections get better on their own and that using antibiotics can increase the risk of harm in children. (Related: White kids take twice as many antibiotics as other kids, putting them at higher risk, study finds.)
Fortunately, parents can turn to natural treatments instead. These remedies offer similar — at times even better — results to that of over-the-counter drugs and come with no adverse effects, ensuring that your child will get nothing but quick and effective relief from sinus infections.
Inhaling steam can ease congestion
One effective way to get relief from a sinus infection is steam inhalation. This not only causes mucus clumps to pass, it also warms up a child’s sinus passages to make him feel better. There are many ways to apply steam treatments: You can soak him in a warm bath to breathe in the vapors; place him in a warm shower, or accompany him if he’s young; or add a humidifier in his bedroom.
These steps will add extra moisture to the air and decrease sinus pressure and inflammation.
Add some essential oils and spices to the steam
Garlic, known for its ability to fight bacteria, can be used to naturally clear the sinuses. Just chop a fresh clove, stir it into a bowl of hot water, and have your child inhale the vapors. Apple cider vinegar is another potent therapeutic agent for sinusitis, but a lot of children dislike it for its strong taste. A good way of using apple cider vinegar is to mix a spoonful with warm water and have the child drink it, but you can also add two spoonfuls into a bowl of steaming water and assist him so he can inhale its vapors.
Eucalyptus oil and other essential oils are known for their antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. You can add a few drops into the shower or a hot bowl of water and have the child inhale the steam or put a few drops in a bowl of cotton and hold it a few inches from his nose. Lavender oil is also a great alternative for treating sinusitis.
Use a neti pot or saline spray bottles to clear clogged sinuses
If a child has a clogged sinus, using a method called nasal irrigation is a natural way to relieve its symptoms. This forces out germs and other pathogens from the nasal cavity and clears out mucus.
A device commonly used to introduce a sterilized saline solution into the nasal cavity is called a neti pot.
Most children, however, don’t like neti pots, particularly the sensation when introduced into the nasal cavity. In this case, using a saline spray bottle or an eyedropper to irrigate the nasal cavity is best.
To make your own saline solution:
- Mix 1 cup of cool sterilized water with 3 teaspoons of non-iodized salt and 1 teaspoon of baking soda.
- Fill the spray bottle or eyedropper with the liquid mixture and squirt some into the child’s nose.
In the long run, introducing vegetables to your child’s diet can significantly reduce the likelihood that he will contract sinusitis. Drinking healthy liquids will not only boost his immune system but keep the sinuses well-lubricated. Find out which foods to eat when you have sinusitis – and which ones to avoid.