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Rhinitis in Children: Care Instructions

Your Care Instructions

Rhinitis is swelling and irritation in the nose. Allergies and infections are often the cause. Your child's nose may run or feel stuffy. Other symptoms are itchy and sore eyes, ears, throat, and mouth.

If allergies are the cause, your doctor may do tests to find out what your child is allergic to. You may be able to stop symptoms if your child avoids the things that cause them. Your doctor may suggest or prescribe medicine to ease the symptoms.

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 call line 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?

  • If your child's rhinitis is caused by allergies, try to find out what sets off (triggers) the symptoms. Take steps to avoid triggers.
    • Avoid yard work near your child. This can stir up both pollen and mould.
    • Keep your child away from smoke. Do not smoke or let anyone else smoke around your child or in your house.
    • Do not use aerosol sprays, cleaning products, or perfumes around your child or in your house.
    • If pollen is one of your child's triggers, close your house and car windows during blooming season.
    • Clean your house often to control dust.
    • Keep pets outside.
  • If your doctor recommends over-the-counter medicines to relieve symptoms, give them to your child exactly as directed. Call your doctor or nurse call line if you think your child is having a problem with his or her medicine.
  • If your child has problems breathing because of a stuffy nose, squirt a few saline (saltwater) nasal drops in one nostril. For older children, have your child blow his or her nose. Repeat for the other nostril. For infants, put a drop or two in one nostril. Using a soft rubber suction bulb, squeeze air out of the bulb, and gently place the tip of the bulb inside the baby's nose. Relax your hand to suck the mucus from the nose. Repeat in the other nostril. Do not do this more than 5 or 6 times a day.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your child has symptoms of infection, such as:
    • Increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness.
    • Red streaks coming from the area.
    • Pus draining from the area.
    • A fever.

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • Your child does not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

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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.