Nasal irrigation

Babies and young children can’t blow their noses properly. Nasal irrigation is a technique that involves slowly rinsing the nostrils with saline solution (salt water) to clear the nose.

The solution can be homemade (see Saline solution (salt water) recipe to treat stuffy noses) or purchased from your local pharmacy. It is important to get saline solution and not medicated nasal drops or sprays (such as decongestants). Ask a pharmacist for advice if necessary.

Some parents use nasal irrigation when their children have nasal congestion or cold symptoms (see Stuffed-up or runny nose).

There are several techniques for doing nasal irrigation. You can talk to your healthcare provider for more information.

Saline solution (salt water) recipe to treat stuffy noses

There are several recipes for saline solution (salt water) for the nose. Here is one:

Add 10 ml (2 tsp.) of iodine-free salt (sea or pickling salt) and 2.5 ml (½ tsp.) of baking soda to 1 L (4 cups) of cooled boiled water.

Store the solution in the fridge in a sealed glass container for up to 7 days. Take the desired amount out of the fridge and let it come up to room temperature before using. Do not rinse your child’s nose with cold water.