What Does Green Snot in Toddler Mean?

Boogers are common among toddlers. The color of boogers can vary, but what is considered normal and what not? What if you find your toddler has green snot? Should you worry about it?

What Does Green Snot in Toddler Mean?

Your toddler may get a cold. A runny nose with clear mucus, in the beginning, is normal. However, the mucus tends to change its color to yellow, gray or green as the days pass by. Other symptoms are low-grade fever, cough, nasal congestion, etc.

Can It Be Allergy?

No, allergies are not associated with green snot in a toddler. The symptoms of an allergy are watery eyes, itchy eyes, repeated sneezing, and itchy skin that lasts for weeks and sometimes months. When it comes to the mucus running from your toddler’s nose, it is clear mucus and it does not change its color or thickness as the days pass by. Allergies are more common in the spring, summer or fall.

Does Your Toddler Need to Take Antibiotics?

If green snot in toddler is noticed, it does not mean that your toddler needs to take antibiotics immediately. It is well known that antibiotics have many side effects and perhaps the biggest concern nowadays is bacterial resistance.

However, in these cases antibiotics are required:

  • If the signs and symptoms last longer than 2 weeks
  • If your toddler has severe signs and symptoms
  • If fever is higher than 102 degrees Fahrenheit

Consult your doctor in cases when you notice green snot in toddler is accompanied with difficulties breathing.

How to Help with Your Toddler’s Cold

Plenty of rest and liquids are needed for your toddler. Children until the age of 4 years old don’t know how to blow their nose, so the following tips can help ease the nasal congestion:

  • Use saline and suction in order to loosen up the mucus. Using a rubber syringe or nasal aspirator will help you suck out the liquid and mucus a couple of minutes later. If you are looking to reduce irritation, apply petroleum jelly on the outside of the toddler’s nostrils. You should not use the nasal spray if your doctor doesn’t allow it.
  • Moisten the air by using a humidifier or a cool-mist vaporizer. A warm bath can do the same thing. You can also take your toddler into the bathroom, close the door and turn the hot water in order to sit in a steamy room for at least 15 minutes.
  • Elevate the head of your child by raising the mattress. You can put a towel under the mattress.
  • Give your toddler plenty of fluids in order to prevent dehydration. You can give your child plain water, fruit smoothies, etc.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, over-the-counter cold medications are not recommended for toddlers, especially in children younger than 6 years old. In certain cases, serious side effects can occur. Cold medications won’t shorten the course of the cold nor prevent further complications such as sinus infections or ear infections.

In cases when your toddler has a high fever, you can give acetaminophen or ibuprofen. You should not give your child aspirin as it can lead to a serious and life-threatening complication known as Reye’s syndrome.

How Can I Prevent My Toddler from Catching a Cold?

The green snot in toddler is usually caused by a cold. Then is there any way to prevent a cold?

Common carriers of cold viruses are door handles, books, pens, stair railings, video games remote, computer keyboard, etc. Your child can get sick when touching these objects contaminated with cold viruses. Cold viruses can survive for several hours on these objects.

Washing the hands constantly is the best way to prevent cold and keep your child healthy. Teach your child to wash the hands every time after using the bathroom, before eating a meal or after playing. Be sure to wash hands with warm water and soap for about 20 seconds. Hand sanitizers are also a good option when trying to keep your hands clean and germ-free.

Teach your child to cover the mouth when sneezing or coughing. Remind your child to wash the hands carefully after sneezing, coughing or blowing the nose. If your toddler has caught a cold, don’t send him/her to school and prevent any contact with other children.

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