Infants sneeze frequently, this is due to the fact that sneezing is a way of clearing their nose of mucous, dust, airborne fluff as well as milk that can go up into their nose when they vomit. It is good for infants to sneeze as it indicates that their nervous system is working correctly. Sneezing is a reflex mechanism that is controlled by the nervous system. Infants sneezing often occurred when there is irritation in the nasal system. Generally infants breath through their mouths as part of their development, this can bring about sneezing as they are still adjusting to breathing through the nose. When infants sneeze, it doesn’t really mean that they are infants with cold, rather they are using it as a defence mechanism against the germs they are confronted with when they were borne.
However, there are instances when sneezing in infants can be sign of cold or symptoms of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). This normally happens when mothers overused addictive opiate drugs during pregnancy. In addition to sneezing, other symptoms of NAS are; nasal stuffiness, tremor, excessive crying and yawning.
WHAT MAKES INFANTS SNEEZE
Some of the reasons infants sneeze are;
- IRRITANTS: Irritants like dust, cigarette and mucous can bring about irritation and subsequent sneezing. To reduce this, parents should ensure that their houses are properly ventilated so that all irritants that are inside the house can be minimise. This can be achieved by preventing people from smoking within the house premises, using of air conditioner and exhaust fans that are capable of removing the irritants from the home.
- DRY AIR: The natural secreted substances of infants’ nose get dry easily, this is due to the fact that they have tiny nose. Parents can deal with this by using a nasal dryness vaporiser and increase the humidity.
- ILLNESS: Sneezing, upper respiratory tract infections and nasal discharge are some of the common signs of infants with cold. Due to the fact that they have a very weak immune system, they can easily catch cold when held by adult who is already catching cold. Parents can deal with this by always washing their hands with disinfectants before holding infants and once cold is being detected so that it doesn’t degenerate to a secondary bacterial infection.
- ALLERGIES : Sneezing can be caused by seasonal allergies otherwise known as hay fever. Sometimes, substances in the air generate an allergic response that leads to hay fever. Dust, animal hair and insects bite can generate allergy.
- SMALL NOSE: infants generally have narrow nasal passage which is as a result of their small nose. They are likely to get impeded by lint from blanks, cloth and dust. Therefore, infants sneeze most times to clear their pathway.
- NEED FOR NOSE CLEARING: infants naturally breath through their mouths . It is always very difficult for infants to switch breathing between nose and mouth. Sneezing is often an helpful strategy for clearing the nose.
INFANTS WITH COLD
Cold is common among infants. Infants with cold often have congested or running nose, nasal discharge, fever, cough, sneezing, irritability and difficulty in sleeping. Cold is an infection of the nose and throat, caused by virus. One of the most common virus is Rhinoviruses . Some factors usually put infants at higher risk of cold. Some of the factors are;
- IMMATURE IMMUNE SYSTEMS: The immune systems of infants are generally weak as they are still developing. They can not resist the viruses that caused cold.
- EXPOSURE TO OTHER INFANTS: Our children some times play with other infants with cold who don’t always wash
- their hands and use it to cover their cough and sneeze. This can increase the risk of your kids catching cold.
- TIME OF THE YEAR: Both children and adults are more vulnerable to cold from fall to late spring.
CAUSES OF COLD IN INFANTS
Some of the common causes of cold are;
- Infants’ immune system is still developing, making them more vulnerable to common cold. Infants are likely to get between 4 and 10 colds in the first year.
- Allergies can cause a runny or blocked nose.
- Close proximity to other infected children or adult can result in a cold, Mostly when the baby is little.
- During winter, indoor heating may dry the fluid from the nasal passage making the infant vulnerable to a common cold.
- Infants generally like exploring, they tend to pick up cold virus by playing with contaminated toys or other items.
INFANTS WITH CONSTANT RUNNY NOSE:
Most infants with cold always have a constant runny nose. Constant runny nose could be signs of allergies. Exposure to cold weather and consumption of spicy food can also contribute to infants constant runny nose. Some of the relief for constant runny nose are;
- SALINE RINSES: One of the first line of action in treating from runny nose in infants is to rinse their nasal passage with saline solution in other to loosen the mucous.
- Add moisture to the air of infants’ room with the aid of humidifier or cool mist vaporizer. This will enable the infant to breath well while relieving the runny nose.
- Elevating infants head while they sleep
Snot refers to nasal mucus. Snot is very important, it is the oil that services the engine. It acts as a flypaper that traps all unwanted substances like bacteria and dust before they get into the body. Snot is kind of sticky and thick, it is very viscose thereby enabling it to trap unwanted substances. Snot contains antibodies that help the body recognized invaders like bacteria and virus.
TYPES OF SNOT
CLEAR SNOT : Clear snot is normal, it keeps the nasal system lubricated and germs free. The body naturally produce 1.5quartz of snot daily. However, if the amount increase drastically, it could indicate that you are suffering from allergies, cold and flu.
WHITE SNOT: The white snot means different things, most time it could mean that the nasal passage is irritated and swollen and restricting the flow of snot and causing it to dry off.
GREEN SNOT: The green snot indicates that your immune system is working hard.
RED OR PINK SNOT: This snot indicates that your nasal tissues may be dry, irritated and damaged. The red colour in this snot comes from the blood.
BROWN SNOT: When someone snot becomes brownish it indicates that the person have inhaled somethings.
BLACK SNOT: This is the snot of most smokers and drug users . However, if you neither smoke, nor use drugs, yet you have a black snot it could signal a fungal infections. It is advisable to visit the doctor whenever you see fungal
Infants sneezing and infants cold are interrelated, this is due to the fact that when an infant is cold, there is always tendency for the infant to sneeze.