Tips to helping kids sleep with a runny nose

There are few things more stressful for a parent than caring for a sick child through the night. It can cause lots of worry, stress and loss of sleep for everyone involved. When your child suffers from hayfever symptoms, restless nights can become relatively frequent especially during peak allergy season.

Hayfever can cause uncomfortable symptoms such as sneezing, a runny and/or blocked nose, itchy eyes and coughing.1 This can make it difficult for kids suffering from hayfever to fall asleep and stay asleep. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to help them have a better night. Our top tips to help your child sleep better include:

1. Keep children indoors

Try to keep your children indoors as much as possible on hot, windy afternoons and evenings. This is when pollen levels are usually highest in the air. If you children are outside playing in this environment, it may increase the likelihood of them developing hayfever symptoms at night.2

2. Close windows and doors

Keep windows and outside doors closed as much as possible. This helps reduce the amount of pollen in the air inside the house and in your child’s bedroom at night.

3. Give them a bath or shower

If your child is struggling to sleep with allergies and a blocked or runny nose, consider giving them a quick bath or shower. This removes pollen stuck in their hair and on their skin and clothes.3 Even just washing their hands and face may help because it reduces how much pollen they will breathe in, which will reduce the severity and duration of the allergy attack allowing them to fall back to sleep faster.

4. Use a humidifier

A humidifier can help to ease the symptoms of a blocked or runny nose.4 The water vapour released may help to remove some of the allergens from the air3, which in turn may provide relief for allergy sufferers and a better night’s sleep. Using a humidifier may also be beneficial for blocked noses caused by the common cold or flu.

5. Use a saline nasal spray

If your child is having trouble sleeping because of a congested nose, try using a saline nasal spray. Saline helps to rinse pollen from the nose, while thinning and removing mucous as well.2 You can also use a nasal aspirator, especially in young children and infants who are not able to blow their nose properly.

If your child suffers from nasal congestion caused by hayfever allergies on a regular basis, they may need treatment. An antihistamine, such as Telfast, may be an appropriate choice if allergy symptoms are interfering with your child’s quality of life and their ability to get a good night’s sleep. Speak to a doctor or pharmacist to find out whether an antihistamine might benefit your child. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist see your healthcare professional.