Natural Cures for Sinus Infection in Children

| Modified on Dec 05, 2017

There’s nothing more disturbing, especially to a parent, than to watch your little one sick, unable to breathe properly.  We’ve all had that overwhelming desire to find and do something that would help our child to feel better from a sinus infection.  Our readers have sent us many suggestions and reports on what worked – or didn’t – for them.

What are Sinus Infections?

Sinus infections, or sinusitis, occur when the moist air spaces around the nose become irritated and swollen.  Usually sinusitis follows on the heels of colds or bouts with allergies and is a very common ailment.  There are four sets of sinuses, or hollow spaces.  They are lined with mucous membranes that are the same as those lining the nose and mouth.  When nasal passages become swollen and produce more mucus, the sinuses do as well.  When mucus cannot drain from the sinuses because the drainage system is blocked, the mucus becomes trapped in the sinuses.  This becomes a breeding ground for viruses, bacteria and fungi.  The initial cold has now become a sinus infection.


The symptoms for sinusitis vary according to the age of the child. Young children often have colds and a slight fever.  However, if a fever develops 5-7 days after the onset of the cold symptoms, this indicates an infection has set in. The infection might be sinusitis, but could also signal the development of pneumonia or another infection, so get a diagnosis from your doctor.

Kids don’t develop the sinuses in the forehead until they are 6-7 years old. These particular sinuses aren’t formed sufficiently to get infected until the child is a young teen. So a pre-teen with a cold and a headache probably does not have a sinus infection.

The most common symptom of sinusitis in teens is that cough that won’t get better.  This normally starts about a week after the beginning of the cold, the fever, congestion and ear ache. Teens may also suffer from headaches, nausea and pain behind the eyes.

Natural Remedies for Sinus Infections in Children

The goal of sinusitis treatment is to eliminate the infection and to relieve inflammation and clear the nasal passage to make breathing easier.  Lowering the risk of developing sinus infections or reducing their frequency is important.  When the sinus infections do develop, there are a number of effective natural remedies.

Prevent and Treat Sinus Infections with Moisture

Prevent your home from becoming abnormally dry during the winter heating season.  Use a humidifier with a few drops of Eucalyptus or Rosemary Essential Oil and keep the humidity in the home at 45-50%.  Keeping the sinuses moist makes them less prone to infection.  Don’t forget to clean the humidifier often to prevent the growth of mold.

Once the sinus infection has taken hold, use a steamy shower before bed to help the child feel less congested.  During the day, you can just fill the bathroom with steam from the running shower and spend time in the bathroom with the child.

Don’t forget to teach the child to wash his or her hands thoroughly and often (as well as everyone else in the home).

Saline Rinse

Irrigating nasal passages with a mixture of sea salt and water helps to loosen mucus and eliminate infection.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Organic apple cider vinegar is one of the most popular treatments for sinus infections. Use 1-2 teaspoons of ACV in a glass of water twice a day (honey optional). Some children refuse to drink the vinegar water, so ACV capsules might be an option.

There are many successful treatments for children’s sinus infections.  Please share your favorites with us!

Apple Cider Vinegar

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Ammo N Mace (Santa Cruz) on 02/14/2015

My 9 year old son has had sinus problems since he was 3. Allergic to dust mites and having other allergies we had used antibiotics from the doctor several times. After a run in with a tick and lymes disease treatment(huge doses of antibiotics). I became worried my son was getting way to many antibiotics. So recently when he got a really bad sinus infection, swollen face, eyes and one nostril completely plugged, I tried something new! Apple cider vinegar! We started one evening b4 bed with 8 ozs of water and 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Within 10 minutes of drinking his plugged nose was running like a waterfall. After 20 minutes of blowing it stopped, but still was clogged. Bed time! In the am 8 more ozs of water and vinegar then a shower and a homemade nasal spray of 1 cup boiled water to 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Use spray in shower! His nose was running like crazy with mucus. Bye the time he was done with the shower his nose was clear! What a miracle and quicker n better then antibiotics. I would highly recommend!

Replied by Dino

Hi, how hot is the water in your homemade nasal spray? You say boiled, but you're obviously not putting boiling spray in your kid's nose? LOL! Just has to be pretty warm I suppose? Thanks.

Replied by Jocelyn
(Cebu, Philippines)

How long we can give apple cider to an 11 year old boy for his sinus problem?

Replied by Mama To Many

Dear Jocelyn,

I would not use large amounts regularly, but then again, I would not be likely to use a large amount for a child unless there were some acute situation.

It may be best for him to use a straw if he is taking it in water to protect the enamel on his teeth.

In some cultures, it is common to serve fermented foods with meals all the time. Using Apple Cider Vinegar regularly is about the same thing, and something I am comfortable with for my family.

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Dinah
(Agusan Del Sur, Philippines)

Hi! Can I use the ACV sinus treatment in a 5 months old baby? Thank you.

Replied by Mama To Many

Dear Dinah,

I am not sure I would use apple cider vinegar in the nose for a 5 month old.

I would be more likely to use colloidal silver, saline spray, or breastmilk, if your child is still nursing.

If none of these things are available to you, and you decide to use the apple cider vinegar, you must use distilled water or water that has been boiled for 5 minutes and then cooled. 1 cup of water plus 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar. But try this solution on yourself first. (Generally a good idea when trying something new with children! )

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Deli

Hi, which brand of apple cider? my son is 4 yrs old and 7 months already having this sinus infection.


EC: Any brand of organic and raw ACV...

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Gloria (Long Beach, California) on 09/15/2014

My son used to get sinus infections every time he caught a cold or flu. It was a big problem. One day I researched natural remedies and saw apple cider vinegar was recommended for sinus problems including infections. I got him to drink 2 teaspoons of organic ACV in water twice a day. His sinus problems went away within a month and now he's in his twenties and rarely has a sinus infection.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Grateful4ec (Atlanta, Ga) on 12/17/2009

I have heard about this website from a family friend about 5 months ago, checked the website but didn't take it seriously. I came back to inquire about giving children antibiotics and the effects. After researching other sites, and EC, I have found the answer. My 3 year-old has had a sinus infection that has ran for about 10 weeks. After seeing Dr.'s and the third bout of antibiotics (Amoxicillin 2 x and Amoxicillin with Clavicunate (sp?), we realized a change in the child's behavior, irritability and sleeping habits. It was unbearable, our child was out of character telling everyone to shut-up and being mean, the child is normal tempered and loves to laugh this was not normal. I decided to give the child 1/4 teaspoon of ACV with oatmeal (maple and brown sugar) to help get rid of the cough and clear the sinuses. Today is the first day, so I will see what happens. BTW, my child's behavior has improved for the past 4 days both at home and daycare. We will keep you posted. Thanks EC.

Coconut Oil

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Mandy (Mount Shasta) on 02/26/2016

I tried to submit a review about the coconut oil remedy for sinus infection to no avail I just wanted to say this literally saved my life today.. Or what feels like a lifesaver. my sinus infection is so bad it feels like carpenter ants chewing the insides of my sinus cavity.. absolutely unbearable so I decided to melt some coconut oil and snort it up both sides of my nostrils and wow.. instant relief. I cannot say it enough coconut oil is an absolute miracle food!!

Oregano Oil, Colloidal Silver

Posted by Mjtaur (Texas ) on 12/20/2016

My 8 year old son has a very bad cold right now and I'm pretty sure he has a sinus infection and conjunctivitis. His eyes are puffy, watery and red, with greenish yellow mucus coming out of the inner corners every hour or so. He also has a cough and stuffy nose with the same mucus as his eyes. He doesn't have a fever though and seems to be in good spirits except when he's trying to sleep.

I just started using the recommended dose of oregano oil for children and Colloidal silver (Orally because he can't handle drops in his eye.). I've also been giving him elderberry syrup.

I'm wondering how long it will take for us to see results? I feel so bad for him because he looks and sounds terrible but thankfully he's playing pretty much like normal, just a bit groogy. Any comments/advice would be appreciated!

Replied by Irina

Take your kid to a doc asap, Mjtaur, this might be viral ( no big deal) or bacterial conjunctivitis ( bigger deal), both are contagious. And yes probably sinusitis too.