Dr. Hana Says: Healthy Noses Support Healthy Kids
Pediatrician Develops Nasal Irrigation System With Children in Mind
About Dr. Hana Solomon
Hana R. Solomon, MD, a.k.a. Dr. Hana, is a pediatrician and serves as the president of BeWell Health, LLC. Dr. Hana is the author of “Clearing The Air, One Nose At A Time: Caring For Your Personal Filter.” Teaching the art and science of nasal washing is Dr. Hana’s passion and her ultimate goal is to reduce medication use in the community. She lectures to all audiences, including medical physicians, naturopathic doctors, nurse practitioners, respiratory therapists, and consumers. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Washing your nose can be tricky, especially for kids. Anyone who’s ever jumped into a swimming pool before holding their breath knows exactly how uncomfortable it is when water gets into the wrong places. Fortunately, for those of us who know how wonderful the results of nasal irrigation can be, Pediatrician Dr. Hana Solomon has developed a system that’s simple to use, ultra-comfortable, and proven to work for children. Sayonara sinus congestion, hello clear breathing.
Nasopure and Dr. Hana
As a self-described “water-wimp” Dr. Hana understood that nasal washing might be an intimidating idea for children. After talking to her patients and discovering why they were hesitant to wash daily, she decided to develop her own unique system. In 2001, Dr. Hana developed the Nasopure Nasal Irrigation System – the epitome of comfort and modern design. The bottle allows for a neutral head and neck position and the applicator tip is designed to create a tight seal with the nostril for control of pressure and flow. In 2007, Dr. Hana introduced Little Squirt to GoTM, a 4 oz. irrigation system that’s perfect for smaller hands.
Why Irrigate? A Natural Approach to Nose-Woes
In terms of illness and allergies, kids are not much different from adults. In fact, when it comes to colds and the flu, young children are statistically more likely to fall victim. Studies show that kindergartners have around 12 colds per year, while adults have about seven. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration frequently updates their advisory stating that over-the-counter cough and cold medicines should not be given to infants and children. The cut-off age for safe use of OTC medications has been revised more than once, and studies show that over-use of antibiotics can eventually cause resistance.
In her clinical experience, Dr. Hana found that nasal washing in children reduced the number of colds and other respiratory infections, and that those who irrigated with saline use fewer medications. In addition to this conclusion, nasal-washers tended to face shorter illnesses and missed fewer school days. Several studies published recently support Dr. Hana’s findings, backing her support of holistic and natural approaches to fight and prevent illness.
Nasal irrigation can also provide relief to children who suffer from allergies, asthma, chronic sinus problems, frequent nosebleeds, coughs, ear infections, and sore throats. Dr. Hana likens the nose to a personal filter that, like all other types of filters, provides the best results when it’s kept clean.
How can we teach kids to wash?
Many of us know from experience that it’s not easy to convince a child to do something – especially if they think it’s going to hurt. At first glance, nasal washing can be intimidating for children, so it’s important to approach the task with strategy.
As a practicing physician with more than 20 years of clinical experience, Dr. Hana has spent a lot of time learning to perfect the art of teaching children to wash. In her book Clearing the Air, One Nose At A Time: Caring For Your Personal Filter, Dr. Hana provides many tactics that can be used to successfully introduce children to nasal washing. For children ages 2-6, Dr. Hana recommends playing with the bottle in the bathtub as a way for them to become acclimated to holding it and squeezing it. For children ages 7-9, Dr. Hana suggests making up a fun story. For example, children at this age can understand the idea of their nose and sinuses being like a cave. If they want “air” carriers to be allowed through, they must wash out the nasty stuff and keep the passages clean of any “snot rocks.”
One of the most effective ways children learn is through imitation. Dr. Hana encourages parents to demonstrate for their children, as this allows the child to see that nasal washing is comfortable and safe. Then, allow the children to try washing on their own.
Patience is key when teaching, especially with small children. Even when all else fails, it’s important to never try and wash for a child. Instead, try watching videos of other kids washing or talking about how good a clean nose feels. The overall approach must be geared towards the child’s age and his or her past experiences. One step at a time, no forcing allowed – only gentle encouragement, demonstrations, and lots of positives.