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3 ENT Tips for Parents: Common Ear, Nose, and Throat Problems

Woman holding infant girl’s hands

Ear, nose, and throat (ENT or disorders are one of the primary reasons for parents to rush their children to an ENT specialist or a pediatrician. Young children, babies, and infants are prone to recurring blocked noses, coughs, colds, and waxy ears that can cause severe discomfort.

ENT specialists believe these problems are more common in children partly due to their tiny ear and nasal passages, which aggravate symptoms even when partially blocked. They also reveal that such issues are more prevalent in children because their immune systems are still developing, making their ENT regions prone to dysfunction.

This may worry parents who want to keep their children safe from the devastating COVID-19 and ensure optimal ENT health. Otolaryngologists at Houston Physicians’ Hospital have compiled a list of ways to help parents understand why their children may be suffering from ENT issues.

 Blocked or sniffly nose

Getting a sniffly nose is part of growing up for children who are exposed to the world. If your child has a blocked or congested nose, you can try using a nasal spray with saline water.

This gentle, drug-free, and simple solution provides relief while adding moisture to counter the side effects of dryness caused by central heating or pollution. It also helps wash away allergens and loosens up mucus so children can go back to enjoying their unique adventures.

Investigation of child’s mouth by doctor

Bug or acid reflux?

Whether your child is in day care or preschool or at home, they will likely develop some kind of cough sooner or later. Most cases of congestion are caused by some bug that might be going around, but sometimes coughs can be present without any apparent reason.

This may indicate an underlying issue such as acid reflux. Don’t worry; put some books under the head of your child’s bed. This will help raise their head and relieve any acid reflux symptoms such as cough.

If the cough persists, bring your child to their doctor for a better remedy to treat any underlying issues that may be causing the cough.

Caution: Some parents give young children a bottle of milk in their cribs at bedtime. As the child nurses on the bottle, milk or formula can collect in the back of their nose or throat, which can lead to the eustachian tube being damaged. If this happens, there’s an increased risk for the child to develop glue ear, which can result in significant hearing loss.

Earwax buildup

While there isn’t much that can be done to avoid earwax buildup while children are young, sometimes the wax falls out on its own. But when it doesn’t, parents can use child-safe ear wax softening drops recommended by ENT specialists to encourage it to fall out.

Caution: Please avoid using cotton swabs to clean your child’s ears, as they may push the wax further inside or against the eardrum, resulting in traumatized skin of the ear canal or disruption in the natural wax-cleaning process.

Illustration of a human’s ENT region

While these tips generally help most children, individual cases vary. If your child’s breathing, hearing, or sleeping habits start affecting their quality of life, we recommend consulting a licensed ENT specialist through Houston Physicians’ Hospital.

Some of the top ENT specialists in the Houston area practice at our facility, which is one of the leading hospitals in Houston. Certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology, these physicians can diagnose, manage, and treat ENT disorders and help your entire family find relief.

Visit our website to find an ENT specialist who can offer you the right treatment plan for your child(ren).