Nasal sprays, such as Dymista, offer help for issues such as congestion and even allergies. If you want to use nasal spray on your child, there are a number of things you should do to make the experience as easy and as effective as possible. Here are some tips to guide you:
1. Start with an empty nose.
Nasal spray is absorbed by the membranes in your child's nose, and if these membranes are covered with mucus and snot, the spray won't work as well. Before spraying your child's nose, have them blow it. If they are too young to blow their own nose, clean it for them with a "snotsucker" or nasal aspirator.
2. Tell your child to pretend to read a book.
Do not have your child lie on their back when you are using the nasal spray on them. Similarly, do not have them sit down and tilt their head back. Both of these positions give you easy access to your child's nose, but they also let the spray run into the back of your child's throat, and that can be an unpleasant feeling.
Instead, have your child sit and look down. Tell them to pretend they are reading a book or playing with an iPod. Then, squat underneath them and get ready to spray. If you have a tall kitchen stool, place your child on that, so you don't have to bend as much.
If the spray accidentally runs into your child's throat, offer them a drink of juice, vitamin water or a popsicle to wash away the taste. You may want to have this on hand before using the spray just in case.
3. Avoid the septum.
When applying the nasal spray, direct it toward the outside of your child's nose. Try to avoid spraying their septum. If you hit the septum once or twice, it isn't a problem, but repeatedly spraying the septum with nasal spray can increase your child's likelihood of getting bloody noses.
Remember, the septum is the most common site of nosebleeds.
4. Moisturize the inside of the nose.
Unfortunately, some nasal sprays can dry out your child's nose, and in general, having a cold can also make the nose drier than usual. To avoid this risk, look for a spray that has a built-in moisturizer. Alternatively, use a humidifier in your child's room when they are sleeping to help make them more comfortable.
5. Don't force your child to use nasal spray.
Applying nasal spray gently and correctly can help make the experience easier for your child. However, some children are very sensitive to having things sprayed in their nose, and if your child is extremely resistant to the idea, don't force it. Remember, nasal spray is designed to provide extra comfort to a sick child. It is not a life-or-death medication like an epipen in the midst of an allergic reaction.
If your child doesn't like nose sprays, explore alternatives. For example, if you are using the nasal spray for allergies, talk with your pediatrician about trying an oral medication instead. In contrast, if you are using a nasal spray to help your child with congestion, try a natural alternative such as turning your bathroom into a steam room. To do that, run a hot bath, keep your extractor fan off and let steam fill the room. Then, invite your child to hang out in the bathroom and breathe in the steam until their mucus loosens. Alternatively, apply a vapor rub on your child's chest.
For more tips on using nasal spray correctly or helping to improve the nasal spray experience for your child, talk with a pharmacist or pediatrician.