Children are much more vulnerable to infection and must be treated with more care than the average adult. Many parents fear the side effects of prescription and over-the-counter drugs and prefer to use natural remedies that will work quickly and effectively to heal a child’s infection.
Steam inhalation is a large part of overcoming a cold or sinus infection, and there are many ways to enable your child to breathe in steamy vapors. Let the child soak in a warm bath and breathe in the vapors that way. Another method is to add a humidifier to the child’s bedroom. This will add extra moisture to the air, allowing mucus breakup and decreasing sinus pressure and inflammation. Another option would be to pour some hot water into a bowl and have the child take deep breaths of the steam coming off the hot water.
There are a few natural ingredients that can be used that are completely harmless when used properly. Apple cider vinegar is known to break up bacteria, which will loosen mucus buildup and relieve sinus pressure. Although it is best to mix a spoonful with warm water and have the child drink the mixture, this may be hard to accomplish. If you are unable to get your child to drink the mixture, add 2 spoonfuls to a bowl of hot steaming water and let the child inhale the vapors.
Garlic is also known to fight bacteria. Chop a fresh clove of garlic, stir it into a bowl of hot water, and have the child inhale the vapors.
Eucalyptus oil is another natural ingredient that fights bacteria and decreases inflammation. Add a few drops to the shower or a bowl of hot water and have the child take deep breaths to inhale the steam.
Some foods trigger sinus infections—most commonly milk products. Although growing children need milk to help their bones strengthen and develop, milk intake should be monitored during allergy season. Butter and cheeses can be consumed, but children should stay away from anything that has not been processed and still contains live bacteria. This live culture can most commonly be found in milk, ice cream and yogurt.
Also, make sure your child drinks plenty of fluids. With extra fluid in the body, the mucus buildup will thin out, providing less area for bacteria to build up, which is the main cause of sinus infections.