Irrigating a baby’s nose with a syringe and saline solution is dangerous and can lead to drowning or severe breathing problems.
Why is nasal douching dangerous for babies?
Nasal douching, which is passing a saline solution in one nostril and letting it flow out through the other, clears mucus in the nostrils. However, it can be very dangerous for babies and toddlers because they do not have the same level of body awareness as older children and are unable to consciously stop fluids from going down their pharynx and larynx. Injecting a large amount of saline into their little noses can lead to choking and drowning.
Other ways to clear your baby’s blocked nose
If your baby has a blocked nose, skip the syringe and consider the following options:
- Humidifiers: Moisture will usually clear a baby’s nose by preventing mucus from drying.
- Steam: Run a hot shower and wait until your bathroom becomes steamy. Then, bring your baby inside for a few minutes.
- Rubber suction bulbs: Carefully squeeze 1 – 2 drops of saline solution into your baby’s nostril. Then, squeeze the rubber suction bulb and gently insert the tip inside the baby’s nose, and slowly release it. The bulb will slowly pull out any clogged-up mucus.
- Nasal aspirators: Put the mouthpiece in your mouth and place the tube gently on the baby’s nostril and suck in air through the tube to remove mucus via suction.
If you are not sure about how to clean your child’s nose, always speak to a pediatric doctor or certified nurse before making any attempt — especially when the child is 6 months or younger.