Every parent knows that runny noses are a fact of life. Colds will come and go, and most of the time they’re over and done with in no time at all. Sometimes, though, a child’s cold can persist and can lead to other problems such as a sinus infection. A sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, is a condition where the nasal cavity becomes infected due to bacteria. A sinus infection tends to be more painful and more persistent than a normal cold and will usually require medical attention. So how can parents identify, treat, and prevent sinus infections in children?
Sinus Infection Causes
There are a number of factors that might lead to sinus infection in adults and children alike. The most common cause is a cold. When you have a cold, your sinuses fill up with fluid making it easy for bacteria to cause an infection. The same goes for allergies that cause congestion of the nose and sinuses.
For children, there are also correlations between sinusitis and using a pacifier, drinking milk from a bottle while lying down, and second-hand smoke in the area. It’s a good idea to limit these things (especially smoking, for many obvious reasons) if you have a child that is prone to sinus infections.
Sinus Infection Symptoms
Most commonly, sinusitis is linked with a stuffy nose and acute pain in or pressure in the face and head. If a cold lasts more than a week or is accompanied by thick yellowish snot, there is a good chance that your child has a sinus infection beyond a common cold. Sinus infections can also be accompanied by fever, coughing, dental pain, and fatigue.
Sinus Infection Treatment and Prevention
A decongestant can help drain a sinus infection and provide some relief. While in some cases this will cure the sinus infection altogether, your child should never take an over the counter decongestant for more than three days. If sinusitis persists beyond that, it’s best to get medical attention.
A doctor is likely to prescribe an antibiotic to fully treat a sinus infection. Most antibiotics for sinus infections need to be taken for ten to fourteen days, but symptoms will often begin to clear up within the first three. If your child is prone to sinus infections take some preventative steps by using a humidifier and saline spray on a daily basis to help keep the nasal cavities clear and healthy.
Finding a Reliable Urgent Care Center
If you think your child might have a sinus infection, your nearest urgent care center should be able to provide you with the highest standard of diagnosis and treatment. As this is a fairly easy ailment to diagnose and treat, it’s often easier to head to urgent care instead of waiting around for an appointment with a pediatrician or primary care provider. But make sure to choose an urgent care center that has good reviews and a track record for quality service. That way you know that your kids are getting the high quality treatment they deserve.