If you are a parent – and you are asked to visualize a child – in all probability you will visualize a child with a blocked nose or a running nose. And that will be a very accurate visualization because it is virtually impossible to go through the early childhood years without suffering through innumerable bouts of coughs and colds that follow each other in rapid succession.
In the early years – children have very low immunity. Because of this low immunity – they are easy targets for the viruses that are present in the air around them. And so they frequently suffer from coughs and colds. Usually these coughs and colds – do not require any treatment and children get better a few days later.
Because coughs and colds are so frequent – parents sometimes get tired of attending to the coughs and colds and begin to consider them a part of normal everyday life. They do nothing to really treat the cold when it happens – they just wipe the child’s running nose and wait for the child to get better. This however may cause some trouble for a lot of children.
Even though coughs and colds are an inevitable part of the childhood years – they should never be ignored or neglected.
The nose is connected to the ear by a canal called the Eustachian canal.
Fluids that are formed in the ear – are drained out of the body through the nose – via the Eustachian canal.
When a child has a cold and the nose is blocked with secretions – the fluid from the ear has no way to move out of the ear. This causes the fluids to accumulate in the ear.
These accumulated fluids in the ear – can get infected and lead to an ear infection. Ear infections can be very painful and difficult to treat.
It is therefore very important to ensure that a cold in the nose does not turn into an ear infection.
Since most colds are caused by viruses – antibiotics are usually not required to treat running noses. In fact it is important for the child to suffer through the cold to build his immunity – so the infection should not be treated at all in the majority of cases.
What is important to focus on is – keeping the nose unblocked.
This can easily be done by steam inhalation and the use of saline nasal drops. Read more about keeping the nose open here
If the cold lasts more than 3 days – it is important to take the child to a doctor and make sure no other treatment is required.
The ears are extremely important organs – they should not be ignored or neglected. Make sure you are doing everything necessary to prevent ear infections.
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