Looking after your child’s health – colds and allergies

Benefits of nasal washing in children

Using saline sprays or drops in babies and children may help temporarily clear nasal congestion1, 2 resulting from colds and allergies because they may:

• Thin sticky and thick mucus
• Wash away inflammatory chemicals (that a cold virus has stimulated in the nasal tissues)
• Remove mucus plugs
• Moisturise the nasal tissues
• Help prevent scabbing in the nose.

When using nasal sprays or drops the child may sniff, sneeze or swallow. These are normal bodily reactions that allow the child to naturally clear their airways so they can breathe better.

  1. Diagnosis and management of the newborn and young infant who has nasal obstruction. Olnes S Q et al. Paediatric in Review 2000 Dec (12) pp 416 -420.
  2. Nasal irrigation with saline solution significantly improves oxygen saturation in infants. Schreiber S et al Acta Paediatrica 2015 Nov 26.

Are all salines the same?

No, there are various types of nasal salines available for use in babies and children.

Sodium Chloride (normal saline) with preservative (Benzalkonium Chloride)
Purified seawater with no preservative. This product may contain trace elements not naturally found in human tissue.
Saline with added minerals and no preservatives, to closely mimic the content of the fluid, which surrounds nasal tissues.

A note about preservative-free

Preservative-free nasal relief is less likely to irritate so if your child suffers from allergies or hay fever, using a nasal saline without a preservative may be preferable. Preservative-free saline solutions and sprays may  feel gentler on the tissues lining the nose especially those with sensitive noses like babies and children3. Ask your pharmacist about preservative-free salines.

All Flo saline products are preservative-free.

3.Effects of benzalkonium chloride on innate immunity physiology of the human nasal mucosa invivo. Storaas T. et al. The Laryngoscope 2000. Vol 110 pp1543-1547

How easy is nasal washing in children?

Many nasal salines require parents to position their child upright when applying sprays or lying down when applying drops. This may be difficult, especially with a child that is unwell, fidgeting or unwilling to co-operate.

Ask your pharmacist for saline sprays that can be used at any angle repetitively such as Flo Baby Saline Nasal Sprays or Flo Kids Saline Nasal Sprays. With these sprays, dosing is quick and easy and positioning the child is unnecessary. Look for “sprays at any angle”clearly marked on the top of the pack.

Further suggestions

For babies, apply Flo Baby Saline Nasal Spray (or Drops) approximately 10-15 minutes prior to each feed to help thin and clear nasal mucus which may help make feeding easier and sleep more restful.

For children, Flo Kids Saline Nasal Spray may be used when necessary or as directed by your healthcare practitioner to temporarily relieve nasal congestion. This may also help result in a more restful night’s sleep for your child.

Worried about your child?

If your child shows signs of fever or illness and is not settling, you should talk to your healthcare nurse or your family medical practitioner.

Some important points to remember when choosing the right saline product for your child:

• Formulation to mimic the natural fluids surrounding the nasal tissues.
• Preservative-free.
• Can be used at any angle without repetitive priming of the bottle pump.

If in doubt, please ask your pharmacist.

Always read the label. Follow instructions for use. If symptoms persist, consult your health professional.

Ask your pharmacist about other products in the Flo range.

For noses great & small, Flo loves them all.