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Why Does My Child Always Have a Runny Nose?

Why Does My Child Always Have a Runny Nose?

Runny noses and kids seem to go together. But when your child is the “snot-nosed kid,” you may wonder if it’s just a normal part of childhood or something more serious.

While colds and runny noses are common in kiddos, they shouldn’t be chronic. If your child’s nose is always running, or if they have trouble breathing through a stuffy nose, they shouldn’t have to put up with it. 

At Enrich Family Practice, our expert nurse practitioners care for your child’s health from birth to adolescence. At our clinic in Odessa, Texas, we find out the root cause or causes of your child’s chronically running nose and then propose a customized treatment plan.

What could be behind your child’s runny nose? The following are the most common causes.

Cold, flu, or COVID-19

The most common cause of a runny nose is an infection, usually caused by a virus such as a virus that causes the common cold or the flu. However, your child could have another bacterial or viral infection, including a COVID-19 variant.

Cold symptoms tend to be milder than flu or COVID-19 symptoms. A cold rarely causes a fever, the flu often does, and COVID-19 sometimes does. COVID-19 may also come on gradually and mildly, like a cold. However, with the COVID or flu virus, your child may also have:

Sneezing and sore throats are more common to colds than other infections. If you’ve been around anyone with COVID-19 and you have a runny nose or other symptoms, you and your child should be tested for the virus. 

Other infections

If your child has a sinus infection caused by bacteria, we recommend a course of antibiotics. In addition to a running nose, they may have a headache, fever, and dark circles around their eyes.

Another type of infection that could cause a runny nose is called croup. With croup, your child may cough with a wheezing or barking sound. If your medical professional suspects croup, they may order a chest X-ray.

A respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection can be more serious than a cold, flu, or COVID. It’s especially dangerous in children under the age of six months because it could lead to pneumonia or other respiratory illnesses. Babies with RSV may have symptoms such as:

If your child has trouble breathing, go to the emergency room. As with other viral infections, RSV is difficult to treat. Viral infections don’t respond to antibiotics.

Allergens

A chronically runny nose that never seems to get better could indicate that your child has allergies. Allergies to pollen, mold, dust, and animal dander are common. If you or another blood relation to your child has allergies, there’s a chance they inherited that tendency. 

If your child has allergies, we may recommend allergy testing so you can help your child avoid exposure to their specific allergen triggers. We may refer severe allergies to an allergist for allergy testing and treatment, including immunotherapy. 

Irritants

Your nose is designed to trap dust and other irritants in the little hairs that line the nostrils, called cilia. Your nose produces mucus to keep the nostrils and airways clear of invaders and irritants. If your child doesn’t have an infection or allergies, their runny nose could be caused by:

You may need to install an air purifier in their room or throughout your residence to filter the irritants. Once the irritants are removed from the air, your child should be able to breathe more freely without excess mucus. 

Call us at 432-200-9052 for a consultation today to find out why your child’s nose is always runny and discover the best way to treat it. You can also use our convenient online form to schedule your appointment. 

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