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Nasal Polyps in Children: Care Instructions


A nasal polyp is a lump of tissue that grows into the nasal passages. One or more polyps may block the nasal passages. This makes it hard for your child to breathe. The polyps also can reduce your child's sense of smell.

Your doctor may treat small polyps with nasal sprays or pills that contain corticosteroids. These are medicines that can reduce swelling. Nasal polyps can be a long-term problem. Surgery is sometimes needed to remove them.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

How can you care for your child at home?

  • Have your child take medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor or nurse advice line if you think your child is having a problem with a medicine.
  • If your child has asthma or allergies (or both), make sure your child avoids things that make the problem worse. These include pollen and dust. Asthma and allergies make it harder to breathe.
  • Use saline (saltwater) nasal washes to help keep your child's nasal passages open. This washes out mucus and allergens. You can buy saline nose washes at a grocery store or pharmacy. Follow the instructions on the package.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor or nurse advice line if:

  • Your child has increased trouble breathing (more than a stuffy nose).
  • Your child has symptoms of a sinus infection, such as:
    • Pain and pressure in the face along with a stuffy or blocked nose.
    • Drainage from your nose or down the back of your throat.
    • A fever.
    • Tooth pain or a headache.

Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.