A runny nose is extremely common in young children. It is usually caused by coughs and colds, which your child can catch repeatedly, especially over the winter months. It is more common in children attending nursery/childcare. A cold typically lasts 7-10 days but when your child catches another infection before they have fully recovered for the first time it can seem like it is going on forever! It is normal for healthy children to get between 10-12 viral infections each year. Very few children with persistent runny noses require prescribed treatments such as antibiotics, and unnecessary antibiotics can lead to resistance.
Symptoms that suggest specific treatment is required include:
- Persistent offensive discharge (bloody mucus) lasting longer than 10 days
- Completely blocked nose
- Pain and tenderness on one side of the face, around the eyes or forehead