[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Runny Nose in a Child With a Respiratory Problem

 

A runny nose may be a symptom of a cold, allergy, or sinus infection ( sinusitis ). Occasionally an object in the nose causes the nose to run.

Colds

A runny nose from a cold is often accompanied by a low fever, cough, and a scratchy throat. Nasal drainage usually is clear but may change to yellow as the cold goes away. If your child seems to be getting better, the color of the drainage is not a concern.

Allergies

Drainage from a runny nose caused by allergies is usually clear. The nose may itch so that your child uses the palm of the hand to rub the nose in an upward motion ("allergic salute"). Sneezing and watery eyes may also be present. In addition, your child may have dark circles under the eyes ("allergic shiners").

Sinus infection

A runny nose with thick drainage that isn't getting better after 10 days, or thick yellow drainage in a child with a fever, can be a sign of a sinus infection (sinusitis). Sinusitis does not usually occur in children who are younger than age 2 because their sinuses are not fully developed. A small child with a sinus infection may also have a cough that is worse at night.

 

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer David Messenger, MD
Last Revised January 10, 2012

Last Revised: January 10, 2012

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.


The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.

More to explore

[an error occurred while processing this directive]