When Your Child Has a Sinus Infection

So you think your child might have a sinus infection? I didn’t even know kids could get sinus infections. It always seemed to me to be a chronic problem that plagues adults, not children.

A sinus infection can start out as an everyday cold. I am not one to take my children to the doctor every time they get a cold. However, if you suspect they might have a sinus infection, antibiotics may be necessary to clear it up.

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Some people do seem to be more susceptible to sinus infections than others, and this includes children. There are several characteristics of sinus infections that make them different from colds.

Only one of my sons has had a sinus infection, and he has already had two so far this year. Both started out as colds. When your child has a sinus infection, he will likely first complain of a headache.


A headache can also be a symptom of a bad head cold, but there are several other symptoms that will help you know for sure. One is bad breath. The first time my son had a sinus infection I noticed a very foul odor coming out of his mouth when he breathed.

It was not normal. It smelled like infection. Another sign is if the discharge coming from his nose is thick and green. This is also not normal, and should be checked out by a doctor.

Occasionally a sinus infection is difficult to detect. A friend of mine has a young daughter who ended up in the hospital because of an undiagnosed sinus infection. The only symptoms that she had were a slight cold and persistent headache that lasted at least four days.

If you suspect your child has a sinus infection, please take him to the doctor right away. Colds are bad enough, but sinus infections just don’t clear up on their own, and your child will be miserable until he is treated.

And sometimes sinus infections and ear infections can go hand in hand. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

While your child is on antibiotics and recovering from a sinus infection, there are several things you can do to make him more comfortable. You can give him children’s Tylenol for headache pain.

A cool mist humidifier will help promote drainage. Elevate the end of your child’s bed if possible, or just make sure his head is elevated while he sleeps to also promote drainage. Please don’t give a child with a sinus infection children’s cold medicine.

This medicine turns the mucous in your child’s head into thick goo and makes it harder to drain. The humidifier provides the most relief.

Written by Rachel Paxton.

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