Your child's sinuses are tiny air pockets in the bones of the face. A sinus infection, often called sinusitis, occurs when these air pockets are exposed to germs or bacteria. Because the symptoms of a sinus infection can be similar to symptoms of other conditions, it's important to be on the lookout for potential red flags of sinusitis. Though sinus infections are common among children, treatment can help ease discomfort, and restore your child's health. If you notice any symptoms of a sinus infection, call your child's pediatrician.
A fever is one of the most common indicators that your child has come down with an infection. The fever is actually the body's way of attacking whatever it is that's making your child sick. If your child has had a stuffy nose for a week or so, and then develops a fever, it could signal a sinus infection. These fevers are usually low-grade, but can last for several days.
Nasal Discharge and Congestion
Thick yellow or green discharge from the nose can mean that a sinus infection is present. Postnasal drip is also common during a sinus infection, and is defined as nasal discharge that goes down the throat instead of out the nostrils. Nasal congestion that lasts longer than 10 days or so is another indicator that your child might have sinusitis.
Pain and Swelling
In older children and teens, a headache is a common symptom of a sinus infection. This usually occurs in children older than age 7 because before this, the sinuses in the forehead area aren't completely developed yet. Pain around the jaw and nose is another complaint associated with a sinus infection. Swelling of the face, especially around the nose and eyes, can also signal the presence of a sinus infection.
A cough is one of the most common symptoms of a sinus infection in older children and teenagers. A cough that doesn't get better within the first seven days of a cold might suggest sinusitis. Often, this cough seems to get better during the day, only to get worse again at night.
Less Common Symptoms
Bad breath is a less common symptom of a sinus infection. If you notice that your child has foul-smelling breath even after brushing and flossing, it might indicate a sinus infection, especially if other sinusitis symptoms are present. Mouth pain, ear pain, eye pain and sore throat are additional signs that your child has a sinus infection.
For more information, check out clinics such as Sinus Center-Idaho for help.
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