To help relieve the pain and discomfort caused by sinusitis, you can try the following home treatments for your child:
- Make sure they rest to help their body heal faster.
- Keep them hydrated by encouraging them to drink lots of fluids – this helps to thin the mucus.
- Hold a hot (but not too hot) compress or warm face pack over the painful area.
- Consider using saline nasal spray or drops, or a sinus rinse of saline solution to relieve congestion and blockage in their nose. You can make your own saline solution or buy one from your pharmacy.
Home-made saline solution
Home-made saline solution is made using 1/4 teaspoon non-iodised salt and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 250 mL (1 cup) of warm (previously boiled) water. You can buy a sinus rinse bottle or pot from your pharmacy. Read more about saline nasal sprays, drops and rinses.
The video below demonstrates how a sinus or nasal rinse is performed using saltwater in young kids.
Video: Pediatric Nasal Rinse - How a Sinus Rinse is Performed in Kids!
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(Fauquier ENT, US, 2021)
Steam inhalation is a traditional remedy but is not recommended. This is because there is little evidence that it helps. Also, there is a risk your child might burn themselves. However, some people say that their nose feels clearer for a short while after a hot shower.
Medicines for sinusitis
Pain relief medicines: You can give your child paracetamol to reduce pain and discomfort. Read more about giving paracetamol safely to children.
Decongestants nasal sprays (eg, Otrivin): These should not be used in children younger than 2 years of age.
There's no evidence that antihistamines and oral decongestants work for sinusitis in children and they should be avoided.
When should I seek help?
You should see a healthcare provider if your child:
- has cold symptoms that last longer than 7-10 days
- has fever for more than 2 or 3 days
- has swelling or redness around their eyes or cheeks
- has bad tenderness around their forehead, eyes, or cheeks
- isn't eating or drinking well, or is much less active than usual.