Symptoms of colds and flu vary, but one issue that almost always occurs in children is congestion, which is usually experienced in two forms: nasal congestion – a stuffy or runny nose – and sinus congestion, where the head feels stuffy and full.
Needless to say, it’s not the most pleasant feeling, and it can really have impact on your unwell toddler, particularly in terms of rest.
The good news however is there are several ways you can soothe your tot’s congestion at home. Try these easy tips and tricks:
1. Help drain the mucus
It’s not the most pleasant subject, but one of the easiest ways to provide instant relief to a congested child is to drain away the stuffy mucus. This can be achieved through putting their pillow at a slight incline or holding them upright in your arms comfortably.
2. Swap the bed for the sofa
If your tot is finding it difficult to sleep, get creative. Try sitting with them on the sofa and holding them close against you in an upright position. Lying comfortably next to you can help soothe and relax them, and the upright position can help drain away that nasty mucus.
3. Keep them hydrated
You probably hear it all the time, but keeping a child with a cold or flu hydrated really is crucial. Try soups, smoothies and juices as well as the usual milk and water.
4. Go full steam ahead
Steam is a gentle, natural way to loosen up your toddler’s phlegm and mucus. Simply run a hot shower and sit with them in the bathroom on a chair as they breathe in the steam, or else run them a soothing bath.
5. Try a saline nasal spray
Sometimes we need a little help. A saline nasal spray like Calpol® Soothe & Care Nasal Saline Spray can help to unblock the nose and can be used to provide natural relief from congestion caused by cold and flu, sinusitis and allergy, including hayfever.
6. Know when to visit the doctor
Congestion brought on by a viral infection generally clears up on its own within a week or so, but if it lasts longer, it could be a bacterial infection and may need antibiotics. If you have any concerns, or if your child's congestion is accompanied by a high fever, shortness of breath or nosebleeds, always contact your doctor.