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What's behind my toddler's chronic runny nose?

My toddler has had a runny nose for a really long time. That can’t be serious, can it?

Re: My toddler has had a runny nose for a really long time. That can’t be serious, can it?

The Bump Expert

As gross as this may sound, you can often tell if your toddler's sniffles are something more serious by the color of the mucus. If it's clear, have no fear; that usually signifies allergies. And if it’s cloudy, it’s probably a cold.

If the mucus is yellow or green or worse, however, your child may have a sinus infection -- and that's when you should get your pediatrician involved. The doctor will want to do a physical evaluation, and possibly take an X-ray, to see if it's necessary to prescribe some antibiotics. You should also always call the doctor if your child has a temperature of 101 degrees or higher, which is rarely the result of allergies or a cold.

The Bump Editors

What's behind my toddler's chronic runny nose?

Actually, both my pediatrician and allergist have confirmed that the color of mucus is no longer a positive indicator of a sinus infection. Instead it simply means you have too much of a natural occuring bacteria flourishing in your sinuses. Instead they told me to judge it by the consistancy, frequency and other symptoms (fever, cough, wheezing). My LO prob has some allergies she got from me as we both suffer when pollen/allergens are high, but as long as it's thin and slippery, we clear up without issue. When it got thick is when she got ear infections and colds.

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