Throat Mucus in Babies & Children
Posted on February 14th, 2012

Dr. Nishan Wijesinha Colombo 03.

Infants only breathe through their nose for the first few months after they are born, and though it is common for a baby to have some nasal congestion due to their small, flexible nasal passages, it can interfere with nursing and sleeping. Similarly to an adult, cells line the nasal passages and make mucus; however, since a baby’s nose and throat is not yet equipped to handle large amounts of mucus, they may sneeze more to help clear mucus from the back of their throat. A lot of parents find it useful to ask their doctor about ways to help their baby get rid of excess throat mucus.
Children are prone to colds and the flu, it is common for an excess of mucus in the throat following a respiratory infection to last 4 to 6 weeks. A phlegm producing cough sounds “wet” in a child’s chest and throat. Children have an average of 6-12 upper respiratory infections a year, leading to phlegm in the throat and excessive coughing. Although an upper respiratory infection is the leading cause for throat mucus in children, seasonal allergies can affect them as well. Children are susceptible to seasonal allergies ranging from late December to the end of summer months, just like an adult.

Foods that Relieve or Cause Throat Mucus

Unfortunately, some foods can cause throat mucus, and if you are already dealing with throat mucus, the last thing you want to do is add to the problem. Milk and milk products like yogurt, cottage cheese and butter, cause excess mucus in the throat. These items carry protein molecules called casein which increases secretions of mucus and is difficult to digest. Along with milk products, caffeine, sugar, salt, non- herbal teas, (especially black tea), all create excess mucus. Soy is one of the most mucus making plant foods there is. Those who give up meats and dairy and switch to soy products, have a greater risk of creating an unhealthy mucus build up in the body.
Although there are many foods and food groups that can cause mucus in the throat, there are also a multitude of foods that can help to relieve it. A spoonful of honey and ginger can help the body to get rid of excess mucus; this is a popular remedy for many sufferers. Spicy foods like cayenne pepper, wasabi, and chili peppers will all help the body release mucus build up in the nose and throat. It is important to make sure you are drinking an adequate intake of fluids a day to help mucus to pass through the throat. Sugar free Water based fluids with vitamins C, E and Zinc is the number one help for throat mucus.

16 Responses to “Throat Mucus in Babies & Children”

  1. desh Says:

    If we are talking about children in general, here are some advice.

    In Lanka, we have doors and windows with some sort of a grill on top of them, which means the air is always moving across the premises all the time. This is draught and it is very bad for the people, who live in those premises. We, in Lanka don’t really know about the draught, not even the doctors. In the morning most of us, after sleeping in the draught, step on to the cold floor, so we have sinus problems, running nose, sneezing, etc.

    Most of our guys living in Europe, USA, Canada etc don’t really have to step on a cold floor, but on a carpeted floor, so they never really feel the cold on the soles. Some of us, who live in cold countries, might know that it is absolute necessity to keep the feet warm, if the body to be warm. Maybe, some of us don’t know that, and become sick with typically high humidity level countries’ sicknesses, even in the West.

    It is mostly the lack of knowledge about the problems coming from the draught and the lack of knowledge about the draught.

    So, if you want your children to not to have ENT sicknesses, make sure the child is sleeping away from the draught and to make sure the child steps on to a warm pair of sandals. Or carpet the whole house and keep the house warm in the morning.

    If you want to check this matter, go have a look at a house in Badulla, Nuwara Eliya etc and you’d notice that none of the houses have a grill above the doors and windows, and majority of the people live there don’t have this kind of sicknesses.

  2. Fran Diaz Says:

    desh,

    About a draught of air from outside causing sinus/mucus problems, I think that a draught of air from outside brings in various pollen, dust & fungi spores etc. and that is what causes allergy like reactions. It is not the air by itself, but the allergens in the air that causes it.
    Re carpets in Lanka, I have grave concerns as carpets catch these allergens and keep them in the homes.

    Best stick with an allergy free diet (may vary from person to person), as well as allergen free air with air cleaners. Netting in the windows may catch some of these allergens. We have to have some ventilation in the rooms here due to high heat. Grills help ventilate and remove more heated air which rises to the upper levels of the room, but grills will allow allergens to enter the room too. May be netting over the grills will help remove allergens coming in. Studies should be done in Lanka about allergens and an allergy index attached to the weather report.

    Air conditioning too helps but few can afford it. A expeller fan at a high level will remove heated air from the room.

    The Neti Pot is used in India as a good nasal cleanser. It looks like a small tea pot. A pinch of clean salt & tumeric (kaha) is added to filtered warm water and the sinuses can be cleaned out even three times a day. Not suitable for small children.

    Comments on the above are welcome.

  3. Fran Diaz Says:

    P.S. : Lactase (enzyme to digest Lactose in milk) may help some who have cow milk allergies. Goat milk is more easily digested by some in preference to cow milk.

  4. desh Says:

    Fran Diaz, our Lankans do not know anything about ventilation. Just by having a grill over the doors and windows won’t help in ventilating the premises. Our people call it cross-ventilation, but except for a movement of air on the top level of the premises, nothing much happens, and by making anyone within these premises sick with sinus problems. Most of us don’t even know that our air contains massive amount of water vapour.

    Air conditioning doesn’t help much other than forcefully moving the air around in a closed space, and is a pretty good help to make the people sneeze, to have headaches, etc. Most of the people, who work in an air conditioned areas are permanently sick with ENT problems.

    Our Lankans need real ventilation, and should learn how to ventilate in natural ways. The Architecture faculties of the Lankan universities don’t teach the students how to ventilate premises, neither does the Engineering and Science faculties. None of the professors, lecturers in these faculties can give you a coherent answer to that question. And practically none of the Lankans living abroad knows how to ventilate premises, even if they are working in the fields of Architecture, Civil Engineering or Science. If you are living abroad, ask from any of those who are in that field, and you’d notice that.

    Of course, Fran Diaz, open doors and windows, and the never covered grills on top of them bring in dust, pollen and whatnot from outside and the “cross-ventilation” disperses these all over the premises, “but” never takes them outside from the premises, however one keeps these opening “open” all day and night!

    Please note the “but” in the above sentence. I repeat that the dust, pollen, etc are NEVER getting pushed out of the premises. This is a special study.

    Expeller fan will pull in these dust, pollen and all kind of unwanted stuff from outside through the opening on any side of the premises. Please note the word “any”.

    Maybe the Neti pot is a good nasal cleaner, BUT isn’t it better to not to have the sinus, ENT problems, rather than having to prove that the Neti pot is good, Fran? A little bit of thinking mind for the parents would be a massive help to the children existing and to be born in Lanka.

    Animal milk? Do the animals drink their own milk after a while? For example a cow does NOT drink its milk. A calf drinks milk maximum 8 months, and after that you can’t make it drink milk. A human being drinks animal milk until he dies. Strange don’t you think? Cow’s milk is dangerous for all human beings.

  5. desh Says:

    I would like Dr. Nishan Wijesinha to comment on comments on his article, and not to stay away from them!

    Maybe , his article was premature, but the good doctor should join in…

  6. Fran Diaz Says:

    desh,

    Thank you for response. Here are some more thoughts on the subject. You yourself probably know this stuff already.

    I agree with most of what you say. I am trying to find some relief for those with ENT problems within the existing life styles they are caught up in at present. I heartily agree with you that our buildings must better suit the climate here, and add that designs should keep out dust and other allergens at the same time. Architects and others concerned must be taught the proper rules to suit our needs. I have gone into ancient Buddhist temples and found that the interior is cool and the air clean. No mosquitoes inside either. How did they do it those day ? Thick walls and tiled roofs are evident, but there may be more secrets to building so appropriately.

    Re Expeller fans, they draw the heated air in the rooms and expel them to the outside. It depends how the fan is adjusted, whether to draw air into the room or take air out of the room. I am suggesting that heated air is taken out of the room.

    Re: Cow milk : I agree that it is best not consumed by human beings. Cow milk and other animal milk is meant for their own young. But, the milk drinking habit is here to stay, now more than ever due to commerce. Some people can take yoghurt but not milk. There is another product called Kafir which is 99% lactose free (lactose being the culprit here). Also, whey powder helps better than milk.

    Soy milk and other nut or grain milk are alternatives to animal milk. The soy milk market in the west has taken off ! Even rice milk is now available there. Milk from nuts such as almonds is also popular. Those who cannot digest bean protein should avoid soy milk or take it in small quantities.

    ———-

    Food problems arise due to allergies to those foods, i.e. some do not have the enzymes to digest certain foods.

    Apart from the above, we Lankans waste so much time on Tamil separatism etc. without attending to the real problems that beset our country.

  7. Fran Diaz Says:

    P.S.: Desh, I agree with also about the high humidity (water vapor) in Lanka coastal belt and some other parts of Lanka. You probably know already all about dehumidifiers.
    I am stating below a few facts about use of dehumidifiers in Sri Lanka for the benefit of those who do not know of it.

    ———-

    De-humidifiers remove water vapor from the air and makes the air much more comfortable to breathe. It takes away the oppressive feeling in breathing and the air feels cooler and lighter and promotes higher mood and better health. It is less expensive than air conditioning and I believe consumes less energy. De-humidifiers also help prevent growth of fungi and mould inside the home.

  8. desh Says:

    Fran,

    If we push air out, the resultant space has to filled with air, so air would come from somewhere. So, in comes air with all dirt we put into our atmosphere by ourselves. What goes out comes in.

    Everything comes into the premises as the universe is much bigger than our premises. We cannot throw out heat, the same way we cannot throw out the air. bad hot air from the premises is pushed out mechanically, but the outside air, which we don’t what, comes in bringing in the neighbour’s bad air. In Europe and in USA, Canada, Australia, etc the bad air is made to out above the roof, not across the rooms.

    If you are living in one of these countries, you’d notice that the bathroom doesn’t have a window, but as soon as you put the light switch on a fan starts working pulling out air. If you go to the kitchen, you’d find that there are no windows, but there is a duct somewhere in the wall. Just the same way, you’d find ducts openings on the walls of your apartment ,if your apartment is large, otherwise it would one or two such ducts.

    The ventilation is always upward, whether mechanical or natural. There is a slight difference of the pressure between your premises and the universe above the roof of your building, and the premises gets ventilated. In the winter no one is going to keep the windows open. Just the same, no one would keep the windows open in Nuwaraeliya, Badulla, Mahanuwara, Ratnapura and even at Padukka, Awissawella. People in Colombo two won’t keep their windows open, BUT they have grills over the doors and windows. So, the peenasa with all our children and parents.

    Majority of our people step on the beautiful tiled floor, pretty cold in the morning. Then they wash themselves in cold water. Technically, washing with cold water is good, but not good for the people, who sleep in the draught. Most people also have back problems, joint problems etc in the morning, and then at work and in school.

    Sure, kefir is very good. It even takes away the hangover. Our people don’t know how to make Kefir. eating curd in th evening is bad too, and curd is not kefir. Curd is a pretty dangerous food for our people. It maybe good Thissamaharamaya, Pollonanurawa, etc, but not in the high humidity Colombo and suburbs.

    We live in such a beautiful country, such a natural country, but we don’t serve it and make use of the best of the country. The problem is that we don’t really care for it.

    Its a pity that our Architectural and Engineering teaching staff don’t know anything about ventilation. All they do is use some old fashioned, unpractical cross ventilation one Bawa pushed down their throats. Air moving through most of the government offices made according to this Bawa’s ideas, attacks the spines, knees and ankles of women working there. The UDA building at Battaramulla is one such example, even if it is air-conditioned. Another is at Hyde park corner. Even the State Engineering corporation building is such a monster. You might ask why only women? Because women stay put in their chairs more than the men.

    Just walk up the stairs of such buildings, and you’d notice the stink coming out of the toilets. Why? The toilets are usually situated in the stairwell or near it, and so-called cross ventilation pushes the stink to the larger volume area, the stairwell, not to the universe outside through the “official” windows.

    Well, I’d like to hear from our good doctor, who wrote the above article…

  9. desh Says:

    Fran,

    If you have the opportunity, please on the Earth barefooted, and you’d never get sick!

  10. desh Says:

    Fran,

    If you have the opportunity, please walk on the Earth barefooted, and you’d never get sick!

  11. Fran Diaz Says:

    desh,

    I agree with you on the points you raise. Yes, walking barefoot on the good Earth is a good thing to do. Thank you very much. I hope readers note this simple method to good health.

    However, I think the danger to health through draughts of air in Sri Lanka comes mainly from fans playing direct on sleeping people who may be perspiring in their sleep with a drop in body temperature. I myself have done this with a pedestal fan playing directly on the bed and have suffered the next morning. When the fan was made to rotate, the effect was far better. Or let the fan play away from you completely so that you do not get the direct blowing. Fans playing direct on sleeping people can be the cause of chills and their consequences, etc. Grills bring in the allergens. Both droughts & allergens have to be eliminated.

    In Japan, people go about in public places wearing masks to keep away petrol fumes and allergens.

    At this point of exchange of ideas, I would venture to state that there are other causes of sinus/mucus problems such as from Mercury poisoning (from innoculations -with mercury compounds used as a preservative, and also from so called silver fillings in teeth which are really a Mercury amalgam), lead (from old water pipes), and other heavy metals. Homeopathy has medicines to help ease off the effects of heavy metals.

    We would like to hear from qualified doctors on how to eliminate draughts & allergens in a cost effective way.

  12. Fran Diaz Says:

    correction: “We would like to hear from qualified doctor on how to eliminiate draughts & allergens, and still keep a cooler body temperature in a hot & humid climate, in a cost effective way”.

  13. Naram Says:

    As a layman 0 I emphasise, not one with a medical education, I always keep a stock of Zirtec tablets, that is one with less drowsy effect with me for days when I feel nose filling with mucus and general itchiness in te skin, caused by various types of pollen in the air.

    I find that in houses in Sri Lanka both in the wet zone and dry zone, are far more comfortable when they have openings nearer the ceiling. Otherwise rooms retain a layer of hot and humid air at the top. Of course this in turn calls for sufficieint overhang of the roof to keep the rainfall out particularly when rain comes with strong winds. Pedastal fan placed close to a open window brings hot air and is better than one just circulationg air in a closed room.

    Rooms without openings above windows may be ok if you can afford air conditioning but for in fants best thing is to keep them well wrapped after a bath to prevent them getting a chill. Children are said to get more allergies to pollen if they are not exposed to natural air, touching natural products ie toys from woods and fibres opposed to plastics. Of course the biggest pollutan in the atmosphere is the diesel smog. If you are living near a main road, you have to think of special means of getting fresh air to the room.

  14. Fran Diaz Says:

    Homeopathy can be used in all ENT problems, best at onset of illness, according to symptoms. Please read various websites on the subject first before any self medication. Use potencies from 10 to 30 only in Ds(x10) or higher in Cs (x100) only. Homeopathy can learnt by anyone who has had some basic education in science.

    We wish the Osu Sela would start selling books on Homeopathy as well as the medicines. The medicines cost very little and could be produced in Sri Lanka. Note: the Royal Family of Britain always has a qualified Homeopathic physician attending them. India, Canada, USA, & all the European countries use Homeopathy extensively.

    Here is an extract from a website to give some idea on the subject :

    Some of the more common homeopathic remedies for colds and flues include Aconite [Acon], Belladonna, Arsenicum [Ars], Allium cepa [All-c], Allium, Euphrasia [Euph], Arum triphyllum [Arum-t], Gelsemium [Gels], Lachesis, Nux vomica [Nux-v], Mercurius [Merc], Pulsatilla [Puls], Camphora [Camph], Kali iodatum [Kali-i], Natrum muriaticum [Nat-m], Dulcamara [Dulc], Bryonia alba, Euphrasia, Ferrum phos, Hepar sulph, and Rhus tox.

    Ear Diseases

    For ear infections and other maladies, which can be extremely painful, homeopaths will consider the nature of the pain itself (does it feel like its boring into the head, for example), what time of day the pain is at its worst, how it responds to warmth, whether the ear is hot or red, and many other factors.

    Some of the common homeopathic remedies used for ear problems are Aconite [Acon], Causticum [Caust], Ferrum Phosphoricum, Chamomilla [Cham], Hepar sulphur [Hep], Silicea [Sil], Pulsatilla [Puls], Belladonna [Bell], Capsicum [Caps], Mercurius [Merc], and Sulphur [Sulph].

    Laryngitis

    Consideration of a remedy will include such factors as the presence of a cough, degree of thirst, how thoroughly the voice is lost or hoarse, time of day when symptoms are worst, the question of pain (is it a burning sensation, for example), sensitivity to air and drafts, relative difficulty in swallowing, and much more.

    Common remedies include Causticum [Caust], Aconite [Acon], Spongia, Carbo vegetabilis [Carb-v], Arum triphyllum [Arum-t], Hepar sulphur [Hep], and Phosphorus [Phos].

    Sore Throat

    Factors considered in selecting an effective remedy include throat dryness, its appearance (color, texture, etc.), inflammation of the tonsils, desire to swallow, response to drinking, gland swelling, tongue coating, offensiveness of breath, uvula swelling, ulceration, phlegm presence, and more.

    Common homeopathic remedies for sore throat include Belladonna [Bell], Phytolacca [Phyt], Kali bichromicum [Kali-b], Lachesis [Lach], Hepar sulphur [Hep], Nux vomica [Nux-v], Cantharis [Canth], Guaiacum [Guai], Kali muriaticum [Kali-m], and Mercurius [Merc].

    Tonsillitis

    Homeopathic care of tonsillitis can help preserve the glands from removal – which is the bias of conventional treatment. Some considerations in selecting a remedy include whether the condition is chronic, the glands’ appearance, which side is worse, whether hearing is impaired, smoothness or node-like quality of the swelling, soreness of the throat, difficulty swallowing, and more.

    Common homeopathic remedies for tonsillitis are Baryta Carbonica [Bar-c], Bromine [Brom], Lycopodium [Lyc], Ferrum phosphoricum [Ferr-p], Calcarea phosphorica [Calc-p], Phytolacca, Guaiacum, Silicea, Mercurius, Lachesis [Lach], Kali muriaticum [Kali-m], Apis mellifica [Apis], Hepar sulphur, Ignatia, Belladonna [Bell], and Calcarea iodata [Calc-i].

  15. desh Says:

    Fran and Naram,

    Why do you need to rely on Zirtec?
    Why worry about the results, Fran?

    Isn’t it better eliminate the cause of our Lankans’ sinus problems by making the correct ventilation systems, and insulation systems? If you guys are interested, please write to [email protected], and we’d go from there. Have nice day!

    PS: I am really surprised at this doctor, who wrote the article, for staying away from replying. What did he expect? More private patients?

  16. Fran Diaz Says:

    desh,

    Totally agree with you, i.e. make the air clean and wholesome in our homes. Also, best make the air outside clean too with Green energy. Can’t stop the pollen and some dust outside, but clean energy will stop petrol/diesel based pollutants. We suppose this will happen some day, but may not be in our lifetime. This is something everyone can enjoy and feel happy to be alive. I feel nice even just dreaming about it !

    Desh, I know something about Homeopathy and have used these medicines and benefitted from them for many, many years.
    For the benefit of all readers, I would like to state that the main book for H’pathy is the Repertory by Dr J.T. Kent, which can bought very cheap in India (B. Jain Publishers, New Delhi). The other book for self help is Homeopathic Materia Medica by Dr William Boericke, also available at Jain Publishers. There are many other books to read on the subject, and reference points on the Internet.
    Use of Homeopathy will enable a person to move about freely and enjoy the outdoors in spite of pollutants & allergens.

    There are tablets to use for removing heavy metals from the body, such Disodium EDTA. Has to be used under doctor supervision, with large amounts of supplements, and not suitable for infants or for very old people.

    Re apparatus for clean air, I am not an expert.

    Not much else to say here, Desh.

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