Healthnotes Newswire (March 13, 2008)—Parents searching for safe ways to keep their kids healthy during the cold season will be happy to know that a simple saline nasal rinse could aid their efforts. A new study found that kids had fewer cold symptoms, used less medication to manage those symptoms, and missed less school after starting a daily saltwater nasal rinse.
The new study, published in Archives of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, included 401 children, from six to ten years old, who visited their pediatrician for a common cold or flu. About one-quarter of the children were assigned to receive standard treatment, which could include any combination of medicines aimed at reducing fever, relieving nasal congestion, breaking up mucus, and fighting infection. The rest were assigned to receive standard treatment plus saline nasal rinses, six times per day during acute illness and three times per day during the rest of the 12-week study.
Shortly after their initial doctor visit, the children who used the nasal rinses had fewer nasal and throat symptoms and were healthier than the children who did not use the rinses. By eight weeks, they had fewer and less severe symptoms such as dry cough, runny nose, and inability to breathe through the nose, and fewer of them were using medications to manage their symptoms. They were also less likely to have been sick again, and they missed less school due to illness.
The nasal rinse was a standard 0.9% saline (sodium chloride) solution with trace elements and minerals in concentrations similar to those in seawater, and was applied either with medium jet flow, as a fine mist spray, or as a spray for both eyes and nose. The three methods for the nasal rinse were equally effective.
“The study results show that saline nasal wash significantly improved nasal symptoms in the common cold in children and shows potential to prevent recurrence of upper respiratory tract infections,” the study’s authors concluded. They added that the benefits might simply be due to the mechanical effect of clearing mucus, but it is also possible that the salt and trace minerals in seawater played a role.
Neti pots, small pots for nasal rinsing, and commercial mineral salts to use with them are now widely available at groceries and pharmacies that sell natural products.
Watch a video here or the one below from youtube called, How To Irrigate Your Nasal Passages (sense of humour required).