Small children breathe mainly through their nose, so it's especially distressing when they catch a cold. Here are a few tips to ease those days with a blocked nose.

It’s not surprising if your baby gets low when he or she has a cold A blocked nose is especially hard when you’re little It makes it difficult to breathe and to feed

What to do: Buy some saline solution at the chemist’s and apply a few drops to each nostril before breastfeeding You can also use breast milk This will moisten the mucus and help clear the airways

To do this: lie your baby on a flat surface and hold their head steady with one hand while you insert the drops/breast milk into their nostrils You may have to repeat this every four hours or so until the nose is no longer blocked

Hard to sleep due to a stuffed nose
A stuffed nose also makes it hard to sleep Try raising the head of your baby’s bed about 15 cm by putting a telephone book under each leg If you are using a full-sized cot, place your baby halfway down so his feet are touching the foot of the bed This should stop him slipping down the bed under the blankets; however, check frequently

Keep your baby’s nose clean and wipe away any runniness to protect the skin around the nose You can apply a little zinc ointment under the nose to prevent chaffing

Medications for small children

It’s best to talk to your GP, Plunket nurse or midwife before giving your baby any medication

When it comes to medication, also remember:
• Always follow the directions of how much and how often to give the medicine
• Always use child-resistant tops, replace the lid after use, and keep medicines out of your child’s reach
• Never give a child another person’s medicine

If your child gets a fever, continues to be unwell or worsens, call your GP

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