Mother looking at sinus infection symptoms for kids

You may have dealt with chronic sinusitis as an adult, but do you know how to recognize it in your child? Children at many stages of life exhibit symptoms in a litany of ways and may or may not be able to communicate them, but there are a few common sinus infection symptoms that are consistent no matter the age.

Nasal congestion

Among the most prevalent symptoms of a sinus infection in children is a stuffy nose. This is due to the nasal passages becoming inflamed and limiting airflow, causing that familiar stuffed feeling and sound. Your child might be able to tell you directly that their nose is stuffed, but you can also base this on their nasal breathing or how they sound verbally.

Sore throat

The nasal passages becoming inflamed can also cause a runny nose and postnasal drip, which is where mucus drains to the throat and causes irritation. This can also lead to a sore throat and subsequent coughing to create relief. Your child may be fussy if they are not able to convey this, but a hoarse voice from this irritation could be linked to their infection.

Nasal discharge and facial swelling

Your sinuses are located near your eyes and nose. As a result, inflammation from infection could cause your child’s face to swell, usually accompanied by tenderness and pain. Additionally, your child may have purulent nasal discharge, secretions that are thickened and may be discolored, Also, your child may also have a headache or show discomfort if they are not able to tell you. A warm compress can be a gentle way to treat this symptom for your child and give them comfort.


As with many infections, the body responds to the invading bacteria by creating a fever. In this case, a sinus infection may bring a low-grade fever between 98.7°F and 100.4°F orally. This symptom may appear approximately a week after cold-like symptoms begin. Your child may feel warm to the touch on the forehead or be sweating more than usual, but using a thermometer is a more accurate way of determining this.

How are pediatric sinus infections treated?

Dr. Christopher Tebbit, a CEENTA otolaryngologist at our Belmont office, explains how similar sinus infections can be between children and adults. “Children can experience acute sinusitis just like their parents. Expeditions therapy can minimize the discomfort your child is experiencing.” Treating sinus infections in children is similar to treating those in adults. If it is the result of a bacterial infection, your child may be prescribed antibiotics to treat the cause. It’s also advised to keep your child hydrated and rested with an elevated head to help with congestion. For cases of recurring sinus infections, your child’s otolaryngologist may recommend endoscopic sinus surgery to remove any sinus blockages, though this procedure is more prevalent in older children.

If you believe your child has a sinus infection, schedule your child’s next appointment with CEENTA. Our team of ENT specialists offer pediatric services that include sinusitis diagnosis and treatment. Make an appointment with a CEENTA otolaryngologist online or through your myCEENTAchart account.

This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your doctor. New patients can make appointments online with our ENT doctors in North and South Carolina. Current patients can also make appointments through myCEENTAchart with physicians they have already seen.


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