3 Year Old Runny Nose & Preschool?

Updated on March 18, 2011
N.J. asks from Redlands, CA
6 answers

Both of my boys 17.5mths & 3 years old have had a chronic congestion since January. They both had croup at the end of January and it seems they have never 'fully' recovered. I am confused on whether I should take my 3 year old in for his, when he seems otherwise healthy and oblivious to the nasal congestion/runny nose. I'm only contemplating taking him in, because the last two times I've picked him up from preschool, I've gotten "He's nose was really runny again today".

My son only goes to preschool one day a week, and I kept him out 2 wks at the end of January and beginning of Feb. And sent him back when he was feeling better and when I thought he had no other symptoms, but a very slight junky cough. So I really didn't think I was contaminating anyone else. My concern is that it really doesn't run with me, so I send him thinking he is well enough to go!!

Well, I took him to a bounce house today, and I finally saw what they were talking about! OMG it was really running, somewhat clear and somewhat colored. So my thoughts are at preschool he's really running around which causes his nose to run a LOT. My problem is, how do I know this before I send him? Since the first notice, when he wakes in the morning its not running, I ask him to blow, we do the saline solution and suction and I get nothing. So I send him...

Is this something I should take him in for? My youngest has had this chronic runny nose that was clear and the nurse went ahead and prescribed an antibiotic (but he also had an ear infection) saying that he could be so backed up higher up in the sinuses that its just running clear, and there's a chance he has a sinus infection. It really didn't help his nose, and neither did the Claritan they told me to try with both boys.

I'm not one to medicate unless the child is obviously ill, or uncomfortable. And my 3 year seems perfectly fine. Obviously I don't want to waste a trip just to be told its a cold and have to let it run its course. Then again, I'm thinking 2.5 months does indicate its more than a cold, right?

But how do I also protect and take into consideration the preschools concern about his runny nose? I've explained that at home it doesn't appear to be running that bad, and don't hesitate to call me if you think he needs to come home. They've told me "he's fine and acting great" they just wanted me to "know"...Okay now what? I now know! Is this their way of telling me I need to do something about it?

Confused any thoughts.

BTW: I wash their hair anytime they are outside to get the pollens out, we keep our windows shut, and I have gone to "green" cleaning products and they have HEPA filters in both of their rooms. Is there anything else I can do to prevent environmental triggers for symptoms like this? My gut says its just allergies, but as being an outsider I can see how the think he's sick! My husbands side of the family has a serious asthma and allergy issues so its not a surprise to me. Both kids have been tested for food allergies and they came back fine. Our pediatrician won't test for environmental (unless its clearly obvious an allergy) until they are older!

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answers from Gainesville on

My daughter had a cold or something that she just couldn't kick on her own. After 3 weeks I took her in and the doc said that was the right thing to do. That after that long her body obviously wasn't going to be able to do it on it's own. Very quickly after going on simple antibiotics she was good as new.



answers from Portland on

If it were me, I'd take him in to the doctor.

Our son had a stuffy nose for about as long. At the end of January, he had some fever and shortness of breath, and we learned he likely had a sinus infection. Antibiotics were given at the time, but he never really shook the snotty nose. A couple weeks ago he'd caught the 'junky cough' cold that's going around, and we finally decided it was time to get in to see the doc. She gave us another course of antibiotics-- not our favorite, and they certainly disagreed with his system-- and his nose is now starting to dry up a bit.

I think you can always take him in to the doc and have some information to bring back to the preschool teachers. We (preschool teachers) often just tell parents when their kids have runny noses because we notice it, and it's a health concern-- this is part of our daily communication with parents. If he didn't have a drippy nose when he was dropped off, they might thing *you* didn't know, esp. since he's only there one day a week and that can be a lot to keep track of week to week. I think if they were going to exclude your son from care, they would be direct about it or call you to pick up. If it helps, you should check your paperwork regarding their exclusion policy. I'm *sure* he's not the only kid at preschool with a drippy nose! And if he's playing fine, there really shouldn't be an issue about sending him.



answers from Springfield on

I would take the preschool at their word. Ours knows that kids get colds, we all get colds. I was told that if I kept my son out every time he had a cold, he would miss half the days. Fevers, pink eye and stomach flu are things they are concerned about and want you to keep your kids home for.

I would call your ped and see what he/she thinks. My ped would probably tell me to bring him in, just to check him out and make sure it's just a cold, but she tends to be conservative.



answers from Pittsburgh on

I took my son to a pediatric allergist who did test for allergies-I want to say he was 3. He was allgergic to many environmentals and BTW his nose always ran clear as well. He also had asthma.

Myabe try zyrtec for a week or 2 and see if it works. My son takes it every night and is fine now.



answers from Denver on

It sounds like it could be allergies. My son was Dx at 9mos w/ a pollen allergy. My husband's family is also very prone to allergies/asthma. It's true they don't often show early, but they can. AND it's uncomfortable to do the skin test on a small one (they don't understand why they can't scratch...) but it is possible. You could try some zyrtec for a week or so to see if it makes a difference - then you may know it's allergies... I agree w/o a fever it seems it's not a sinus infection or they are just getting cold after cold - either way, not antibiotics will help. I might call a ped allergist and get his/her opionion. If it is allergies, you can reassure the school that is all it is and put everyone's mind at ease. Good luck.



answers from Seattle on

Most kids have 6 to 10 colds a year, and most of those are clustered in the winter months. If it takes 1 or 2 weeks to get over each one, then we can expect runny noses virtually all winter. As their immune systems get stronger, this will become less.

Check out this blog. It might make you feel better.

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