Does My Child Have a Sinus Infection?

My two year old has been really fussy lately.   She has green drainage out of her nose.  It’s only on one side and it smells terrible!  Should she be seen for a sinus infection?

Nasal drainage can be seen with colds, sinus infections or foreign bodies.   The fact that the drainage is only out of one side, and that it has an odor may mean that there is a foreign body in her nostril.   Do not try to remove it yourself, as you can cause irritation and swelling or move the object deeper into the nasal passages.   

Your child’s health care provider or a ENT specialist should be able to get the object out safely.   It may be necessary to take the child to the operating room if the object can’t be removed easily.   In addition, your child will probably have to take antibiotics to clear up an infection that can accompany a retained foreign body.

Toddlers move quickly, so be sure your house is safety proofed and watch your child when visiting stores and other houses—there may be little items lying around to stick in ears and noses!   If you have other questions on safety proofing your house, please discuss your issues with your child’s health care provider.

By Sharon Rink, MD, pediatrician at ThedaCare Physicians - Pediatrics Darboy.