Steps to Successful Nasal Irrigation for 4-6 Year Old Kids
This pediatric nasal rinse is shaped very differently from a kid’s neti pot or nasal spray so you want to begin by allowing your child plenty of play time with the nasal wash bottle to acquire a familiarity with it. It is important to keep in mind that children this age also learn by playing, by exploring and by doing. Nose washing can take place in the bath, the kitchen sink, or even outdoors.
Children this age also like to have an assigned task. Explain why it is important to get the old, thick, crusty mucus out of their nose.
Try a creative, simplistic approach such as the nose being like a cave, with big booger rocks blocking the entrance. Calling the bottle a "booger blaster" adds a little element of excitement and may help your child envision just what his task involves.
Use your nasal wash often and give your child many opportunities to watch you wash your nose with it. Any comments from you regarding, "Boy, that feels good. Now I can breathe," communicates that what you are requesting is a habit you yourself enjoy.
A sticker chart encourages compliance with the daily task and rewards your child's efforts with no nagging on your part.
Make a target out of a plastic plate, with circles marked off in permanent marker, and attach it to the shower wall. Begin by having your child practice aiming the squirt bottle and hitting a bull's eye on the target during bath time each evening for a week or so to prove his aim is good enough to take on the task of nose washing by himself. This will put him into a competitive, self-empowered mood.
Once your child is comfortable, make up an isotonic salt solution and have him gently squirt the solution inside his nose, with lots of praise, whooping, clapping and side-line cheering. Immediately have him climb out of the tub and put his sticker on his reward chart.
It is vitally important to remember that children this age have a very short attention span and need instant feedback and reward. You will have to be consistent in your effort to train him to be consistent in his. It may take some time but this pediatric nasal rinse is the most affordable and effective solution to children’s sinus problems I’ve seen in my professional career. Uncomfortable breathing can affect a child’s life on a daily level and there has been evidence that shows with consistent kid’s nasal irrigation, they might never have to experience that type of discomfort.
There’s no doubt consistent nasal irrigation has made a world of difference in my health and in the lives of my children.
Please consult your physician first when teaching a young child to wash. Always consult a physician before allowing a child to wash if the child is fully congested (blocked) on both sides; has blocked ears or an ear infection; has recurrent ear or sinus problems; is disabled; or has difficulty tolerating the wash.
Use 1/2 packet of Nasopure buffered salt in the 4 oz bottle. Fill with purified, distilled, or previously boiled water. Close cap and shake until salt dissolves.
Encourage child to hold bottle as directed, but don't squeeze the bottle for your child. Allow the child to wash on their own, gently squeezing a small amount of solution (approx. 1 tsp.) into each nostril.
Encourage the child to blow gently.
Note: Allow your child to watch you wash first, while they play with the bottle, getting accustomed to the feel of the spray.