Sinusitis in Children – Tips for Parents


There are four paranasal sinuses in children. The ethmoid and maxillary sinuses develop in the fetus and are functional at birth. The ethmoid sinuses are located between the eyes and under the nasal bridge. The maxillary sinuses are in the cheekbones. The next sinus to deveop at around age 5 is the sphenoid. It is located in the center of the head, behind the nose.


The last to develop are the frontal sinuses which are located above the eyes. They start developing between ages seven and eight and complete their development at the end of puberty.


Data states that 80% of bacterial sinus infections follow viral respiratory infections and 20% seem to follow allergic inflammation. It makes sense that the bacteria causing middle ear infections and sinusitis are similar in children, and the small amount of research on these questions confirms this hypothesis.


Symptoms of sinusitis include bad breath, mild fever, daytime cough, puffy eyes, and incessant nasal discharge. There are children who also show signs of crankiness, exhaustion, and headaches. Doctor who treat children suffering from sinusitis normally check also the nose, throat and ears for infection.


If anything good can be said about sinusitis, it is that the infection is not contagious, so unless discomforts are keeping the infected child from moving about he or she may continue going to school without fear of contaminating anyone.


What is really needed however is to avoid the allergies and environmental pollutants in their surroundings. This will at least reduce the risk of coming down with the infection again.


Esther Smith, author

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