Sinusitis and Your Toddler
When your toddler is sick, you want to do everything in your power to help. So if your rambunctious two-year-old just wants to sleep, sniffle, and produce thick mucus, your first instinct may be to get some antibiotics. After all, dark thick mucus is an incontrovertible sign of a sinus infection, right? Not necessarily. Your baby could have sinusitis, but it’s also possible that he or she simply has an upper respiratory tract infection.
URIs are typically caused by viral, rather than bacterial infections, and thus can’t be treated with antibiotics. Unfortunately, there are some doctors out there who will go ahead and prescribe the antibiotic anyway—but they’re treating the parent’s anxiety, not the child’s disease.
So how can you tell if your child needs antibiotics, or bed-rest and fluids? The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a diagnosis of sinusitis when a child has:
- A runny nose,
- Postnasal drip and/or
- A daytime cough that may get worse at night
- These symptoms have persisted for 10-14 days.
Now, it is possible for a child to be diagnosed with sinusitis before 10-14 days have passed, particularly if he or she has a high fever persisting for several days. However, it is also possible for a URI to last for more than 14 days.
If your child has a persistent cough or runny nose that’s making you nervous, call us today. We can help your toddler shake the infection, and get back to being a kid.