Cold Symptoms

Cold Symptoms  

Nasal Saline to Open a Blocked/Stuffy Nose 

    - Use saline (salt water) nose drops or spray to loosen up the dried mucus. If you don't have saline, you can use a few drops of bottled water or clean tap water. (If under 1 year old, use bottled water or boiled tap water.) 

    - Step 1: Put 3 drops in each nostril. (Age under 1 year old, use 1 drop.) 

    - Step 2: Blow (or suction) each nostril separately, while closing off the other nostril. Then do other side. 

    - Step 3: Repeat nose drops and blowing (or suctioning) until the discharge is clear. 

    - How Often: Do nasal saline when your child can't breathe through the nose. Limit: If under 1 year old, no more than 4 times per day or before every feeding. 

    - Saline nose drops or spray can be bought in any drugstore. No prescription is needed. 

    - Saline nose drops can also be made at home. Use 1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) of table salt. Stir the salt into 1 cup (8 ounces or 240 ml) of warm water. Use bottled water or boiled water to make saline nose drops. 

    - Other option: use a warm shower to loosen mucus. Breathe in the moist air, then blow (or suction) each nostril. 


*Nasal  Rinse  STEP-BY-STEP  Instructions for Children and Teens 

  1.  Lean forward  and  turn  head to  one  side  over  the sink. Keep  the  forehead  slightly  higher  than  the chin.  

  1.  Place the  tip  of the  syringe,  squeeze  bottle or Neti Pot  into  the  higher  nostril.  Put  it in far enough so  that  it forms a  comfortable seal.  Usually  this is  about  a fingertip deep.  

  1. Nasal syringe:  Slowly  squeeze  the syringe  and  let  the  salt water flow  into  the  nose. 

  1. Neti Pot:  Raise  the Neti Pot  slowly. Poor the  salt water into  the  nose.   Squeeze bottle:  Slowly  squeeze  the bottle and  let  the  salt water flow  into  the  nose.  

  1. Breathe through  your mouth. Gently  blow  the nose. This will clean out  the water and  mucus. Some  of the  water  may  run  down into  the  back  of the  throat. Spit this out. Swallowing  the  salt water  will not  cause  any  harm.  

  1. Repeat  these  steps with  the  other nostril. 


Homemade Cough Medicine 

    - Age: 3 Months to 1 year: 

    - Give warm clear fluids (e.g., apple juice or lemonade) to thin the mucus and relax the airway. Dosage: 1-3 teaspoons (5-15 ml) four times per day. 

    - Note to Triager: Option to be discussed only if caller complains that nothing else helps: Give a small amount of corn syrup. Dosage: 1/4 teaspoon (1 ml). Can give up to 4 times a day when coughing. Caution: Avoid honey until 1 year old (Reason: risk for botulism). 


    - Age 1 year and older: Use Honey 1/2 to 1 tsp (2 to 5 ml) as needed as a homemade cough medicine. It can thin the secretions and loosen the cough. (If not available, can use corn syrup.) 


    - Age 6 years and older: Use Cough Drops (throat drops) to decrease the tickle in the throat. If not available, can use hard candy. Avoid cough drops before 6 years. Reason: risk of choking. 


OTC Cough Medicine: DM 

    - OTC cough medicines are not recommended. (Reason: no proven benefit for children.) 

    - Honey has been shown to work better. (Caution: Avoid honey until 1 year old.) 

    - If the caller insists on using one and the child is over 6 years old, help them calculate the dosage. 

    - Use one with dextromethorphan (DM) that is present in most OTC cough syrups. 

    - Indication: Give only for severe coughs that interfere with sleep, school or work. 

    - Don't use under 6 years of age. Reason: cough is a protective reflex. 


Reasons To Call Back 

    - Earache suspected 

    - Fever lasts over 3 days (any fever occurs if under 12 weeks old) 

    - Can't unblock the nose with repeated nasal washes 

    - Nasal discharge lasts over 14 days 

    - Your child becomes worse 

    - Continuous cough persists over 2 hours after cough treatment 

    - Cough lasts more than 3 weeks 

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