How Does Sinusitis in Children Develop?

How Does Sinusitis in Children Develop?

Sinusitis can be fairly common in children, but do you know how to distinguish between it and a cold?


Parents, who also play the role of doctor at home, often know when their children are feeling under the weather. Be it cough, colds or measles, “doctor mummy” or “doctor daddy” will always know what to do. However, there are still some parents who mistake sinusitis in children as common colds. If you are one of these parents, learn more about it and know how to treat sinusitis when your child has it.

Paediatric sinusitis vs. a common cold

How Does Sinusitis in Children Develop?

Image Source: iStock

Sinusitis in children is often mistaken as just a cold. Although it starts out as one, sinusitis is different from a cold. In common colds, children’s nose lining and sinus cavities tend to swell up. This causes children to have a runny nose. Once the cold is treated, the lining and sinus cavities return to its original size. Unfortunately, there are times that the swelling just won’t go away. This creates a blockage at the back of the nose and fills the sinuses with bacteria and fluid. This is called sinusitis in children.

Symptoms of sinusitis in children

How Does Sinusitis in Children Develop?

Image source: iStock

Sinusitis in children can be very tricky for parents to diagnose because the symptoms are often quite similar to that of a common cold. However, these are the differences in symptoms that need to be closely monitored:

  1. Dark circles or swelling around the eyes, especially in mornings
  2. Persistent bad breathe, even if your child frequently brushes
  3. Headaches
  4. Continuous fever for about 4-5 days
  5. Cold-like symptoms that do not improve or diminish after ten days. This includes nasal discharges and coughs.

Treatments for sinusitis in children

How Does Sinusitis in Children Develop?

Image source: iStock

Children suffering from sinusitis need to be taken to the doctor, especially if the symptoms do not calm down after a week. They will be prescribed with an antibiotic and should be feeling back to normal in about 3 to 4 days. With the medication, sinusitis in children could be eliminated starting by the clearing of the discharge and then the disappearance of coughs and headaches until the size of the sinuses is finally back to normal.

Paired with the medication, the pain and headaches caused by the sinusitis in children can be relieved by putting a warm washcloth on the child’s face while resting or napping. If the nasal discharges are quite thick, saline nose drops can be given. These natural and safe drops work by diluting the discharges to make them thin and watery, making nose blows really easy.

Using a cool-mist type humidifier also helps alleviate nose blockage and overall mood of children suffering from sinusitis. This machine is particularly useful when the kids can’t sleep comfortably because of their ailment.

Sinus surgery

Adults who are constantly suffering from sinusitis resort to surgery in order to relieve the sinus pathways of any blockage. But is this needed for kids? The answer is actually no. There are several factors why sinusitis in children happens and all of them are due to their young age and susceptible immune system. Although, special cases of child sinus surgery are allowed.

Got more tips on dealing with sinusitis in children? Share them with us by leaving a comment below!

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Written by

Karen Mira

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