While many nasal conditions may seem like they only affect adults, children can also suffer from them. Sinus infections are one condition that is common in the pediatric population. Since children have small sinuses, they can become easily blocked. The symptoms of a sinus infection in children are yellow/green nasal drainage, cough, swelling around the eyes and irritability or fatigue. Since these symptoms mimic those of a cold, it is best to wait a week to 10 days to see what happens. If the symptoms do not go away, you should then bring your child to the doctor.Once at the appointment, your child’s doctor will review their medical history and perform a physical exam. The doctor will use an otoscope (a lighted instrument) to look into your child’s nose. If necessary, a CT scan may be needed to get a better picture of your child’s sinuses, since sinuses develop as you age. Imaging tests let your doctor see if there are any structural issues that could be leading to the sinus infection.
Antibiotics are the most common treatment for sinusitis. While over-the-counter decongestants and antihistamines are usually recommended for the treatment of sinus infections in adults, they are not advisable for children less than two years old. If your child begins developing multiple episodes of sinusitis, surgical treatment may be recommended.