When you breathe in, allergenic particles are deposited in the nose that can trigger an asthma attack, among other conditions. At this point it is very important to do a nasal wash correctly.Knowing how to do a good nasal wash is essential, especially in babies. This is because they do not know how to breathe through their mouth and, when they have a lot of mucus, it is extremely difficult for them to get air from outside.
Today, children often have excess discharge from the nose. The particularities of the current air, the early socialization of the little ones or the increase in allergies can be causes of the increase in respiratory problems.
The importance of doing a proper nasal wash
The normal thing is that we breathe through the nose. The nose has the function of moistening, filtering and heating the air that enters our body. When you breathe in, allergenic particles are deposited in the nose that could trigger an asthma attack, among other conditions.
At this point it is very important to do a nasal wash correctly, especially in babies, because as we have said, they do not know how to breathe through their mouth.
Nasal washing is a technique that consists of passing salty water through the two nostrils in order to evacuate secretions, dirt and allergens thanks to the ability to carry the liquid.
The objective of nasal washing, therefore, will be to expel the maximum possible number of allergenic particles from contact with the mucosa. In this way, the allergic response will be less intense than expected if the contact persists.
However, doing a nasal wash is not only indicated for these situations, it is also recommended in other circumstances, such as:
- When suffering from chronic or acute rhinosinusitis.
- Postnasal drip with chronic cough due to drip.
- Pretreatment with nasal corticosteroids.
- Endonasal post-surgery care.
Recommendations for doing a nasal wash to a child
Saline solution is the “tissue” for young children who do not yet know how to blow their snot. With this idea in mind, it is easy to understand that as many nasal washes as necessary should be done so that the child is more comfortable and breathes better.
Nasal washes are not usually liked by children, so it can sometimes be a bit difficult to carry out this technique. Here are some tips that can help you do a nasal wash for a baby:
- Do the washings before sleeping and before feeding in babies.
- The child can be laid down, face down or face up, trying to turn his head to the side and trying not to lean back.
- After the maneuver, it is good to place the baby in a sitting position to promote the expulsion of secretions.
- If the nose is very clogged, you can add a little serum, massage to soften and add more serum.
- Older children are able to wash themselves, tilting their heads to one side and then back.
3 ways to do a nasal wash
We will explain 3 ways to do a nasal wash:
1. Lying on your back with your head cocked
It is the most common way to do it. However, it is not the most effective. In this position, the serum is introduced with force, with a syringe or with single dose.
Using this technique, we clean the most anterior area of the nose. It’s a quick and easy way to do it. However, the serum does not reach the back of the nose where mucus collects.
It is not a useful technique when the mucus is thick and dense, because the serum bounces off the mucus plug.
2. When the child is sitting
This way of doing a nasal wash is used, above all, for older children. In this position, the head should be placed forward. Then the serum is added as in the prior art.
After the administration of the serum, the child will have to inhale forcefully for the serum to take effect. Therefore, it is difficult to perform this technique in babies.
In addition, as in the previous maneuver, doing a nasal wash in this position does not allow cleaning the back of the nose, nor is it useful when the mucus is very thick.
3. Lying on your back or sitting with your head back
It is a very effective nasal wash. In this position, the saline solution is poured slowly and without pressure. The serum falls towards the back of the nose and slides down the throat carrying part of the mucus.
The secretions that are more adherent or more viscous will hydrate with the contact of the serum. Afterwards, it is recommended that the child breathe in forcefully so that the mucus that is in the back area, blocking it, ends up falling into the throat to swallow or spit it out.
If the child is still very young, we will close his mouth to take advantage of the crying and seek, in this way, an intense inspiration through the nose.