If your child has a cold due an allergy or an infection, she may have a blocked nose. Blowing one’s nose is the best way to clear a blocked nose. But have you realised that your child may not be familiar with the concept? If you think your child has a stuffy nose that needs clearing, and wonder how to go about teaching her to do it, this article is for you. We also have some practical suggestions from our expert to teach your child to blow her nose safely.
Is it dangerous to blow the nose hard?
The ear, nose and throat are interconnected. They have a common lining which makes the physiological properties of these organs similar. So, when there is an attempt to blow the nose hard, there is a build-up of pressure that gets transmitted to the ear as well. The middle part of the ear is connected to the throat and the nose, so too much of pressure can even damage the ear. Blowing hard can also push the mucus further inside instead of excreting it. In case of an infection, blowing too hard may actually push the mucus and the germs from the nose to the middle ear. This results in ear infection.
Is it important to teach your child to blow her nose the right way?
The natural reflex of the child is to push the mucus inside instead of sneezing it out. If your child fails to blow his nose while he sneezes, the secretion emitted from the nose tends to pile up, causing the mucus to dry up inside the nose. This blocks the nose resulting in breathing difficulty. So, children should be taught how to blow the mucus out gently to clear the nose.
Ear infection can cause severe pain and discomfort. If you're looking for tips to help your child when she has an ear infection, click the article below.
List of steps the child should follow to blow her nose.
- Tell your child to lean forward so that when she blows her nose, the mucus comes out.
- At first, she may find it difficult to blow from both nostrils. Help her by blocking one nostril and ask her to gently breathe out by the other.
- Teach her to cover her mouth and nose while sneezing to prevent the spread of infections.
- Tell her that her mouth should be closed while blowing through the nose. This will automatically generate a little pressure and remove the nasal secretion.
Hygiene tips after blowing nose
It is the natural tendency of children to wipe any nasal secretion that drops on their hands or palms on the clothes or anywhere else. How to prevent this?
- Teach your child to use a handkerchief, or better still, a tissue while blowing the nose.
- Tell her to wipe the nose and collect the snort or mucus that comes out in the tissue, which can be disposed. When using a handkerchief, care should be taken to put it back into the pocket.
- Also teach her that at home, she can blow the mucus out in the basin and wash it off with a little water. It is important to make her understand that she must not wipe the mucus off on her own clothes or elsewhere because it contains viral germs, which can spread the infection further.
- The next important tip would be to wash her hands after blowing into the tissue or handkerchief. A hand sanitiser can be used while travelling.
A little training in the early years will help your child pick up this good habit easily.
The author is the Founder and Director of The Pediatric Network.
Being hygienic is the best way to being healthy. Read this article to help your child get used to some simple hygiene tips.