A runny nose is extremely common in young children. It is usually caused by coughs and colds, which your child can catch repeatedly, especially over the winter months. It is more common in children attending nursery/childcare. A cold typically lasts 7-10 days but when your child catches another infection before they have fully recovered for the first time it can seem like it is going on forever! Very few children with persistent runny noses require prescribed treatments such as antibiotics.
Symptoms that suggest specific treatment is required include:
If your child has any of the following:
Develops double vision
Go to the nearest Hospital Emergency (A&E) Department or phone 999
Is complaining of a severe headache and neck stiffness/pain or discomfort with bright lights (photophobia)
Becomes unsteady on their feet
Please ring your GP surgery or contact NHS 111 - dial 111 or for children aged 5 years and above visit 111.nhs.uk
If none of the above features are present
Continue providing your child’s care at home. If you are still concerned about your child, contact NHS 111 – dial 111 or for children aged 5 years and above visit 111.nhs.uk
Causes of rhinosinusitis
Most cases of rhinosinusitis in children are caused by an infection; your child may also have a sore throat, cough or earache.
Most children with rhinosinusitis do not need treatment with antibiotics - they recover just as quickly without them and can avoid some of the side effect that antibiotics can cause.
If your child has any features of severe infection (amber or red features), they will need to be assessed urgently by a healthcare professional.
You can help relieve symptoms by:
It can take up to 2 weeks for a child to fully recover from rhinosinusitis.
This guidance is written by healthcare professionals from across Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight.