Kid’s Health: 4 Types of Sniffles and How to Stop Them

Kid’s Health: 4 Types of Sniffles and How to Stop Them

Kids and runny noses seem to go hand in hand. Although many incidences of a runny nose can often be predicted, there are some times when it can surprise you. In either case, the trick to getting rid of a child’s runny nose is to determine the cause.

Allergy Sniffles

One of the most common causes of the sniffles for children is allergies. Although a runny nose can be more pronounced during peak pollen exposures, allergies to dust, mold, and grasses can occur throughout the year. If a child suffers from what doctors call allergic rhinitis, there are a couple of ways to stop the sniffles that might occur. Oral allergy medications are available by prescription or over-the-counter purchase. Prescription nasal sprays, such as Dymista, may be used alone or in conjunction with oral medications and are designed to help treat allergies.

The Common Cold

Another culprit is a head cold. A child’s nasal passages begin to secrete a thick mucus in an effort to get rid of the virus. Children with a cold will often have a runny nose for the majority of the time he or she is fighting off the virus. To help alleviate the cold sniffles, children can gently blow their noses. If it is particularly bothersome, a saline nasal rinse may help. Parents may also use over-the-counter children’s cold medication and a humidifier at night to help the child breathe better.

Sinus Infections

A sinus infection may be another cause of the sniffles. In this case, a virus or bacteria has entered the child’s sinus cavities. As these infectious agents are pushed out of the nasal cavities and into the nasal passages, mucus production is triggered. Treatment with a nasal saline flush and antibiotics will stop the sniffling.


Kids get exposed to a lot of bacteria and viruses on a daily basis, but sometimes the cause of the sniffles may actually be due to temperature, particularly during the colder months. Children are pretty resilient, and often a little careless, which is why many parents have to remind children to put on jackets quite frequently. Changing temperatures outside often trigger runny noses. Also, during the warmer months, a child can experience a case of the sniffles if he or she is outside and then goes inside with cooler air conditioning. For these sniffles, it is often not necessary to give the child medication. The runny nose generally subsides within a few minutes of adjusting to normal temperatures.

If a child has a runny nose, it is a good idea to consult with a doctor. Keep in mind that the color of the child’s mucus is not always a cause for alarm, but it can help doctors determine if there is a bacterial or viral infection. The doctor can also suggest additional ways to help stop the sniffles.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.