It is heart-breaking for the parents to see their child ill. The children are often seen coughing, sneezing, and having a blocked nose as they are more vulnerable to the infections, cold, and flu. If the child is unable to breathe well due to the blocked nose, the parents consider giving them nasal drops.
But at the same time, the question that is it safe to use the nasal drops during cold pops up in their mind. However, are nasal sprays safe for babies? Today we attempt to find it out.
Are nasal sprays safe?
The nasal sprays are easily available in the medical shops that provide instant relief to the child by clearing his blocked nose. Nasal sprays work to de-congest the nasal passages which are often caused by colds, infections, sinus, and other respiratory allergies.
Also read: 5 Best Nasal Drops for Kids
Experts believe that you can use the nasal spray to clear your child’s blocked nose but it should not be used for more than three days at one go. The sources also say that one should not use the nasal sprays on infants, without asking a pediatrician. They have a delicate and immature system and hence a doctor’s consultation is necessary.
Before we further discuss the safety aspects of the nasal drops, it is important to know the types and kinds of nasal sprays available in the market. The first and the lightest one is the Saline Nasal Sprays.
Types of nasal sprays
#1. Saline nasal spray
A saline nasal spray contains only salt and water that helps effectively in easing and softening the mucus present in the nasal passage of the child. A saline nasal spray does not contain any component of medicine in it. By soothing the nasal passage, it also helps to alleviate breathing issues.
#2. Decongestant nasal spray
The second type of nasal spray is the decongestant nasal spray. A decongestant nasal spray is better in terms of providing immediate relief but it is made up of the chemical medications. The job of the decongestant nasal spray is to act as an anti-inflammatory and to thin the small blood vessels of the nose. If used extensively, it can have an adverse impact on the health of the children and can make the congestion even worse.
This is known as rebound effect. It should strictly be used only with a doctor’s prescription and the recommended dosage must be strictly followed.
#3. Steroid nasal spray
The last category of nasal spray is the steroid nasal spray. A steroid nasal spray is also an anti-inflammatory and is used to treat allergies. Some children or adults may have rhinitis symptoms. A steroid nasal spray obstructs the histamine and helps to clear a blocked nose. This nasal spray is the heaviest. It should not be given to the child without the doctor’s permission.
Now coming back to the question of are nasal sprays safe for babies, the safest and the most recommended nasal spray to use for the children is the saline nasal spray. Since saline nasal spray does not contain any medicine, hence it can be safely given to the child.
The other kinds of nasal sprays such as decongestant can provide better relief to your child, but may not be good for his health in long term. Some studies also believe that steroid nasal spray affects the growth of a child negatively.
The ingredient called beclomethasone in the steroid nasal spray is said to lower down the growth rate in the kids. If the parents still want to use the steroid nasal spray because their child has allergic rhinitis, the parents must make sure to use mometasone as an ingredient.
Mometasone does not harm the child and has no influence on the growth of the child.
So, for all those parents who think, is saline nasal spray safe, here is a yes to them. But the parents should take care not to use it excessively. They must get in touch with their doctor to know the recommended frequency, brand, type, and dosage before using the nasal spray for their children.
In case you wish to avoid giving nasal sprays, you can try steam, vaporizer, warm liquids like soups and broth, massage with eucalyptus oil, etc.
How to use saline nasal spray?
Now that you know when and which nasal spray to use, you must also know the correct way of using it. The parents will have to spray the nasal drop to their children as they cannot do this themselves. Just keep a towel or tissues with yourself when you begin to put drops in your child’s nose.
- Hold the baby in your lap. Put him in a position when his head is placed on your knees and his feet is towards your stomach.
- Put one or two drops into one of the nostrils of your baby’s nose. Give it some time for the drops to go inside well. The drops will soon start loosening the mucus and clearing the blocked nose.
- The next step is to put the drops in the other nostril. You may observe some mucus coming out of the nose. You can wipe the same with the tissue and discard later.
- Do not use the same nasal spray on your other baby or anyone else in the house as it may carry the germs and may spread infection.
Also read: What To Feed Your Baby During Cough & Cold?
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