Are Nasal Aspirators Dangerous For Babies? – or – Hidden Risks of Snot Sucking

Small children still do not know how to blow their nose, and the problem of snot quite often bothers them. Colds, viral infections, teething – all this leads to the fact that the small nose stops breathing normally. A nozzle pump (or, as it is also called, an aspirator) will help rid the baby of snot – a small device that allows you to get rid of mucus in the nose mechanically.


Firstly, because it is possible to injure the nose: few children will lie quietly during such an unpleasant procedure. Also, a sharp suction can provoke damage to the capillaries and – as a result – nosebleeds. Secondly, without calculating the force, you can easily injure the middle ear by creating a pressure drop. This, in turn, can provoke otitis media. Thirdly, the human nose is designed in such a way that there is always a small amount of mucus, because it creates local immunity in the nasopharynx. Suction of snot will provoke even more of their production. So, of the benefits of sucking snot, there is only one: a temporary improvement. But is it worth the risk?

Worried that the baby catches a cold all the time, snotty? But he is not threatened with asthma and allergies! Frequent viral infections in toddlers are a kind of vaccine against these ills. So, kids attending a nursery catch a cold more often than their coeval peers, but 3 times less likely to suffer from allergic and asthmatic reactions. It’s no secret that colds are often treated with home remedies. Many mothers know that respiratory infections serve as a simulator for immunity. They make him stronger. But the main thing is to avoid complications. Therefore, even if you consider yourself an ace in the treatment of colds, consult your doctor. Improper treatment leads to serious consequences.


If the mucus is too thick, it simply needs to be thinned out with an abundant instillation of saline (or special drops with sea water – a more expensive option). To extract all the excess from the baby’s nose, just hold it upright if it’s just a baby, or plant it – gravity will do its job, the snot will simply flow out. Source: GettyImages If a child has snot in a river (like water), you can put a roller under his head at night, this will make breathing easier. This applies even to children who do not yet sleep on a pillow. Vasoconstrictive drops will also help you breathe with this type of runny nose, drip them before bedtime. Remember about moist cool air, it will also make breathing easier for the child.

IMPORTANT! If a child under one year old wheezes with his nose, but you do not see any discharge from the nose and washing does not give anything, perhaps the fact is that the nose grows faster than the cartilage, and the narrow nasal passages create a characteristic wheezing. Refer to the lore with such a question, a regular inspection will dot the “i”.


First, the nose is washed with saline, then baby drops are instilled, and massage is done. Vasoconstrictor can be used no more than 3-4 times a day, squeezing a drop into the nostril! It is good if there is a salt lamp at home.

  • Teach your baby not to use a handkerchief, but napkins. Better yet, take him to the bathroom and let him blow his nose. It is not necessary to blow air through both nostrils at once: this leads to mucus entering the sinuses and causing them to become even more inflamed. We clamp the right nostril with the thumb, and blow air through the left, then we clamp the left and blow air through the right.
  • Sit the child comfortably and ask him to tilt his head in the direction where you will bury the medicine. Drops come with a pipette and with a spray dispenser. For young children, the second option is more convenient: when instilling, you can not tilt your head.
  • Squeeze one drop from the pipette into the nasal passage (or make just one press of the spray dispenser), massage the bridge of the nose, temples, then do the same manipulations with the other nasal passage.

At what age will a nozzle pump help?

Aspirators are used for children from birth. Moreover, the younger the child, the more appropriate its use. Babies are often breastfed or fed from a bottle. To fully suck without swallowing air, the nose must breathe well. Therefore, with minimal accumulations of mucus, it should be removed immediately in the most gentle way. In addition,  hygiene and child care  include preventive cleaning of the nose. And for these purposes, the nozzle pump will also be useful.

Older children go to children’s groups. For kids going to kindergarten, snot can become a permanent condition. And here the aspirator will become a reliable assistant. However, starting from the age of two, the child must be taught to blow his nose. Otherwise, the use of the nozzle pump may be delayed. The boundary age of application is not indicated. However, as soon as the baby learns to get rid of mucus on his own, the need for a nozzle pump disappears.

Are Nasal Aspirators Dangerous For Babies? – or – Hidden Risks of Snot Sucking

Varieties of aspirators

There are many types of children’s aspirators on the market today. Below are the most popular models:

  • Syringe (small pear with a plastic tip). The most simple and inexpensive nozzle pump for children. The principle of operation is very simple. It is necessary to squeeze the air out of the pear, gently insert it into the nostril and, gently unclenching, ensure that the contents of the nose remain inside the syringe.
  • Mechanical aspirator. The device is not much more complicated, but much more effective. One end of the tube with a tip is inserted into the nose of the child, through the second, the mother (or another person) sucks the snot with the necessary force. The device is not suitable for squeamish parents.
  • Vacuum. Similar devices in professional design can be seen in the offices of ENT doctors. For home use, the aspirator is connected to a vacuum cleaner. It should be borne in mind that the vacuum cleaner pulls quite strongly, therefore, before removing the mucus from the nose, it is necessary to drip saline. This will help thin the snot and soften the crusts.
  • Electronic. The least traumatic, easy to use and quite effective. Electric nozzle pump for children is controlled by a small button. A number of models are equipped with an additional irrigation function, with which it is easy to perform proper nasal hygiene.

All other types of nozzle pumps, as a rule, are modifications of the four main ones or do not have proven effectiveness.

Are Nasal Aspirators Dangerous For Babies? – or – Hidden Risks of Snot Sucking

Why is a nozzle pump useful for a child?

Nozzle pump for children is useful, because it is able to rid the baby of annoying snot in a matter of seconds, providing a peaceful rest for both the baby and his parents. It will not be superfluous to note the advantages of the device:

  • allows you to quickly cure a runny nose;
  • reduces the risk of possible complications;
  • facilitates breathing in the development of allergic reactions;
  • can be used from birth.

There is a lot of controversy that the device can cause otitis or lead to the development of bacterial complications due to insufficient sterility. Both of these are completely unfounded. The sterility of the device is determined by the correct care of it. And otitis is more likely to cause accumulated mucus than a snot suction device operating under low pressure.

Are Nasal Aspirators Dangerous For Babies? – or – Hidden Risks of Snot Sucking

Risks of using a baby nozzle pump for babies

The use of aspirators in infants is well justified. But sometimes, due to improper use, sucking snot from newborns with it can have certain risks. The delicate tissues of the nose can be injured, due to which an inflammatory reaction develops. This may happen due to:

  • low-quality tip, which increases the risk of injuring the nose;
  • the absence of a special limiter, due to which the aspirator penetrates too deeply into the nostril;
  • too much suction power;
  • very frequent cleaning procedures (babies are not recommended to suck snot more than three times a day);
  • inaccurate introduction, when the side walls and the membrane of the nasal mucosa are affected.

The nose can also be scratched by sharp crusts, as well as too dense snot. To avoid problems, you should first drip a seawater-based product or saline solution into your nose. And only a few minutes after that, clean up.

Are Nasal Aspirators Dangerous For Babies? – or – Hidden Risks of Snot Sucking

Rules for using the aspirator

In order for the nozzle pump to bring only benefits to the child, it is necessary to remember how to store the nozzle pump, how to use it and what precautions to take during the procedure:

  • evenly suck out the mucus without trying to speed up the natural process;
  • try to calm the child as much as possible before the procedure so that he does not jerk sharply;
  • be sure to clean the handpiece and sterilize it after each use;
  • in the event that the design of the suction pump provides for filters, do not forget to replace it in a timely manner.

Follow the rules and recommendations and ensure that your child breathes freely. Use only proven and reliable devices. Be healthy!

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