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Sinus Infections in Children

Symptoms of a Sinus Infection in Children

Signs or symptoms of an acute viral sinus infection in children are similar to those of an upper respiratory infection. They may include:
  • Nasal drainage (discharge can be clear, colored, watery, mucus-like, thin, and/or thick)
  • Postnasal drip
  • Nasal congestion
  • Cough (can be wet or dry; occurs during the day; may be worse at night).
When sinuses are infected with bacteria, the symptoms tend to last longer and/or be more severe.
(Click Symptoms of a Sinus Infection in Children to learn more about possible signs of a bacterial sinus infection in children, along with complications that can occur.)

Treatment Options

Some different options for treating children with sinusitis include:
  • Acetaminophen (Infant Tylenol®, Children's Tylenol®) or ibuprofen (Infants' Advil®, Children's Advil®) for pain relief and/or fever.
  • Nasal saline for congestion or a runny nose. Irrigating the nose with a non-medicated saline solution or spray several times a day can help clear the nasal passages and decrease the need for pain medicine (see Nasal Irrigation for more information on how to irrigate a child's nose).
Decongestants, antihistamines, and nasal steroids are usually not recommended for treating symptoms of an acute sinus infection in children.
Antibiotics may also be prescribed. These drugs can control a bacterial infection and decrease the risk of complications. Amoxicillin (Amoxil®) or amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium (Augmentin®) are two commonly prescribed antibiotics.
Other antibiotics that may be prescribed for bacterial sinus infections in children include:
Your child should take the antibiotics exactly as prescribed and all the medication that was prescribed. This will decrease the chances of the antibiotic not completely eliminating the infection.
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Sinusitis (Sinus Infection) Information

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