By our Smarty friends at Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, P.A.
One of the grosser parts of parenting is the predominance of boogers coming from your child’s nose. As much as you’d love to never have to deal with them, they are actually important for your child’s health.
What are boogers?
Boogers are the dried mucus that protects the inside of your nose. This mucus traps bacteria, dust, and other foreign particles so they don’t enter your lungs. While the mucus is normally thin, it gets thicker when these irritants are introduced. When it dries out, you get boogers.
Dry weather, cold weather, and even the buildup from a sinus infection or runny nose can create boogers.
“Mucus and boogers are a natural protection that all humans produce,” CEENTA ENT doctor Nicholas Stowell, MD, said. “It is the first line of defense that our body has to catch and expel harmful substances, pollen, viruses and bacteria.”
Can I learn anything from boogers?
The color of boogers does not correlate to infection. Many times, parents worry about the color of the mucus or boogers. Yellow, green, red or any other color is not tied to any infection and most of the time does not need to be treated with antibiotics, Dr. Stowell said.
How can I keep my child’s nose clear?
If you want to stop the flow of boogers, it’s best to stop the cause. Make sure your home is clean and free of dust or other irritants. If your home is dry, especially in winter or summer, run a humidifier.
And take heart if your child’s nose is constantly expelling boogers when they’re sick. That means their immune system is working properly.
In the meantime, keep a steady supply of tissues handy. They won’t stop the boogers, but if your child blows their nose, it will help keep their nasal passages clear and keep their snot from getting anywhere else in your home. A bulb suction can also be helpful for little ones who can’t blow their nose. Discourage your child from picking their nose because, in addition to being gross, they might inadvertently cause their nose to bleed.
Whether its allergies, a sinus infection, or a cold, the cause of a child’s boogers can often be treated by an ear, nose, and throat doctor. If you are concerned about your child’s nasal discharge, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with a CEENTA physician.
Dr. Stowell practices in CEENTA’s Concord office. To make an appointment with him or any of CEENTA’s ENT doctors, call 704-295-3000. You can also request an appointment online or through myCEENTAchart.