Springdale Mason Pediatrics

Nasal Rinses Children and Teens

Definition

  • Rinsing the nose with salt water can help wash out dust and mucus. The water also rinses out germs and pollen.
  • And, it helps keeps the inside of the nose moist.
  • Other names for this are nasal irrigation and nasal washes.

Call or Return If

  • You have other questions or concerns
  • You think you need to be seen
  • You become worse

About This Topic

When to Use Nasal Washes

Nasal washes, also called nasal irrigation or nasal rinses, can be used to help treat:

  • Stuffy nose symptoms
  • Colds and upper respiratory infections (URIs)
  • Hay fever (nasal allergies)
  • Sinus infections (viral and bacterial sinusitis)

Benefits

  • Cleans out mucus
  • Washes out dust and pollen
  • Washes out germs
  • Improves air flow

How to Get the Water in the Nose

There are several get the salt water into the nose.

  • Nasal irrigation syringe (such as Nasaline, NasoPure, or Neti Rinse)
  • Neti Pot (such as Neil Med NasalFlo NetiPot)
  • Squeeze bottle (such as Neil Med Sinus Rinse)

Side Effects

  • None
  • However, some children and teens do not like the feeling of putting water into their nose.

After Care Advice

Lean forward and turn head to one side over the sink. Keep the forehead slightly higher than the chin.
Add 1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) of non-iodized salt and a 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda to 1 cup (8 oz.; 240 ml) of warm water. Stir until the salt and soda dissolve.
Place the tip of the syringe, squeeze bottle or Neti Pot into the higher nostril. Put it in far enough so that it forms a comfortable seal. Usually this is about a fingertip deep.
You should use sterile, distilled, or previously boiled water for nasal washes.
  • Nasal syringe: Slowly squeeze the syringe and let the salt water flow into the nose.
  • Neti Pot: Raise the Neti Pot slowly. Poor the salt water into the nose.
  • Squeeze bottle: Slowly squeeze the bottle and let the salt water flow into the nose.
  • Breathe through your mouth.
Extra Notes:
  • Non-iodized salt should be available at the store as kosher, canning, pickling, or sea salt.
  • You can also get pre-made salt packets at the drug store. Talk with the pharmacist.
Gently blow the nose. This will clean out the water and mucus.
Some of the water may run down into the back of the throat. Spit this out. Swallowing the salt water will not cause any harm.
Repeat these steps with the other nostril.

Author: Barton Schmitt MD, FAAP
Copyright 2000-2020 Schmitt Pediatric Guidelines LLC
Disclaimer: This health information is for educational purposes only. You the reader assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.
Article 2886