We get many enquiries from Aussie parents with children who have been constantly sick with coughs and runny noses, even outside the normal Winter flu season. Children no sooner recover from one cold, and the next one arrives, or they have a persistent night cough for weeks.
One of the main reasons children get recurring illness, is that they are constantly exposed to new viruses (over 200 different viruses each season), despite the best hygiene practices. Washing hands is still a great way to minimise risk of infection.
From around 6 months of age, the immunity babies get from their Mum begins to fade, and they need to build up their own immunity, but this takes time.
Children in day care, and those with school age siblings can be exposed to more viruses each season. Children in daycare can get 10 or more viruses each year, school age children around 5 or 6 and teenagers around 4 (Dr Gellner, 2018, University of Utah Health Radio)
Enlarged adenoids may be an issue, and is worth investigating with your health professional. The adenoids are immune tissue (similar to tonsils) which sit at the back of the throat. They swell during illness and produce a lot of mucus, which runs down the back of the throat, and causes your child to cough (particularly when they lay down at night). As your child recover, the adenoids can take a few weeks to reduce to normal size, but if your child gets exposed to another virus in this time, it's very easy for the adenoids to get reinfected, and so the cycle continues.
Using an electric nasal aspirator, like the Snotty Boss Aspirator, can easily remove any nasal mucus high into the nasal passages, to allow your child to breathe and sleep better - particularly if they can't blow their own nose. The Snotty Boss Aspirator comes with a refillable saline spray bottle - home-made saline (with cooled boiled water and salt) acts as a natural antibacterial and can help flush out nasal mucus, to clear the nasal passages.
Removing snot at the source, quickly and easily, could help prevent secondary ear, adenoid and chest infections, as the mucus cannot fester, or travel and infect other parts of the body.
Dr Gellner suggests if your child gets a lot of ear infections, it's possible the tubes in the ear aren't draining properly, which is even more reason to remove nasal snot as soon as possible. If your child has repeated ear infections, talk to your doctor to see if they need to see an ear, nose, throat specialist.
PURIFYING THE AIR
A cool mist vaporiser, like HUSH may safely hydrate the environment and act as a air purifier, to help eliminate airborne viruses and allergens. These energy efficient, ultrasonic diffusers use minimal water and create an ionised mist, with no heat or condensation.
The use of organic essential oils, like Baby Breathe (containing lemon, tea tree and cederwood) may support respiratory and immune health. They are highly anti-bacterial and anti-viral oils that promote restful sleep, particularly in times of illness.
Dr Natalie Caristo from National Home Doctor Service advises that allergies affect around 20% of the population in Australia.
This may be another reason why your child is sneezing and coughing or wakes feeling drowsy and congested. Allergic Rhinitis (hayfever) has symptoms similar to the common cold and is the most common condition triggered by allergies. A runny, snotty nose, sneezing, congestion, watery eyes, ear infections and acute asthma are all symptoms. Early diagnosis and treatment of allergic rhinitis by your medical professional is essential.
Persistent nasal congestion as a result of allergies or viruses can lead to mouth-breathing while sleeping, and can result in poor and interrupted sleep patterns. Using a cool mist vaporiser every night in your child's bedroom can hydrate and humidify the air particles and help your child breathe easier. As the vapour is a cool mist (not traditional steam) it will not make the room hot and stuffy, and there is no risk of excess condensation or mould.
The good news is that the number of colds will decrease over the years as your child's body builds up a good antibodies supply to the various viruses.
This advice is general only, and always consult your health care professional for diagnosis and treatment options of these symptoms. We hope that some of our natural and TGA approved products can help relieve symptoms associated with common colds, viruses, congestion and allergy.