If your child has a sinus infection (a condition called pediatric sinusitis), he or she may have symptoms such as:
- Nasal congestion
- Nasal drainage (discharge can be clear, colored, watery, mucus-like, thin, and/or thick)
- Cough (can be wet or dry; occurs during the day; may be worse at night)
- Postnasal drip.
These symptoms are similar to those of a viral upper respiratory infection (such as a cold). This makes sense, as sinus infections are often caused by the same viruses that cause the common cold. However, in up to 13 percent of children, the pediatric sinusitis will be caused by bacteria.
Because the nose and sinuses are connected, anything that causes swelling in the nose can also affect the sinuses. This increases the risk for sinusitis. Besides an upper respiratory infection, other things that increase the risk for sinus infections in children include allergies, nasal polyps, ear infections, and irritants.
Treatment options for pediatric sinusitis may include medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Irrigating the nose several times a day with saline may also be recommended. Decongestants, antihistamines, and nasal steroids are usually not recommended for treating symptoms of an acute sinus infection in children.
(Click Sinus Infections in Children for a closer look at this topic. This article gives an in-depth overview, including information on how long symptoms usually last, possible complications, and antibiotics that may be prescribed.)