Mom Nose Best: Neti Pots for Kids

by , 01/28/09

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Nostrils and liquids generally don’t mix. Add a kid to the equation and you’re messing with a volatile cocktail. Somewhere early on in the evolutionary process, we lost our gills and developed a very effective and lifesaving drowning reflex. It’s an innate reaction akin to sneezing and coughing. It is something even newborn humans posses. Which makes Neti Pots (products designed to flush the nasal passage with saline solution) all the more curious.

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Science gave us Phenylephrine, one of the scary sounding active ingredients used in the majority of today’s over the counter nasal decongestants geared toward children. Nature, on the other hand, gave us the nasal cavity (above), which allows liquids to flow, like magic, into one nostril and out the other (any excess liquid caught in the back of the throat can be spit out). Neti Pots use the presence of the latter to allow pharma-weary consumers to avoid the former. Call it cleansing, irrigating or “douching”, as Oprah did, Neti use – formally Jala Neti – is a practice that takes a bit of getting used to.

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And Neti Pots aren’t just for adults. Though my son won’t let me get within ten feet of his person holding a Neti, there are various web accounts (such as here, here, and here) that trumpet the benefits of using a Neti Pot with kids. And though it may look scary, professionals and mom experts agree that using the Neti Pot with your child is a safe, natural way to, “flush out excess mucus and debris while moistening the mucus membranes of the nose and sinuses.” One mom, interviewed for a Times review of the products, even found a way to make using it fun for her toddler.

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“Last year when he had a sinus infection, instead of putting him on antibiotics as the doctor recommended, I had him try the neti pot,” she said in the interview. “He was 3. I told him, ‘Hold your breath, just like in swimming lessons,’ and he tried it and it worked. He felt so much better, and his infection went away quickly on its own.” If this mom’s ‘swimming lesson’ doesn’t sit well with you, watch this YouTube demonstration.

Neti Pots retail for $5.00 to $19.00. And the new Eco Neti Pot™ (above), “made from petroleum-free, nontoxic, natural bioplastic,” is a great choice for kids. It costs $13.95 and is available at the Himalayan Institute.

+ Eco Neti Pot $13.95

*lead photo from alwayscandian’s flickr

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5 Responses to “Mom Nose Best: Neti Pots for Kids”

  1. Gloria says:

    I have a neti poti and it does help and there have been time when my kids are loaded on cold medicines that I’ve wanted to use it on them…….but it makes me nervous. How do you teach a kid to do this? The lady that figured out how to get her 3 yr old to do it…props to her. She is brave.

  2. Bungers says:

    Did anyone ever see Johnny Vaughn use one of these on the Big Breakfast? If you did, and you can find it on youtube – please post a link!

  3. ahummer says:

    Where can I get the green/yellow pot pictured above (or similar)?

  4. Clay says:

    Every time I see thus woman using the neti pot, I get a visceral reaction – like I want to punch her in the effin’ face. I usually don’t react so strongly to things like this, but I just had to put it out there.
    Maybe it’s ’cause she looks like Liz Phair to me. Or she just looks dumb.
    I dunno.

  5. old salt pot says:

    I’ve been using a neti pot for about 10 years, off and on,pretty steady for about 18 months now..Why you might ask? Because for all most a year I was suffering with burning and inflamed sinus’s..got to the point my teeth started to ache,like I had teeth problem,s..well, no teeth problems and no sinus infections…The doctors couldn’t figure out what was up..hadn’t used the neti for about 18 months..well wouldn’t you know i went back to using the neti,regularly,and guess what?? the tooth aches stopped,and the sinus inflamation problems stoped..I hope this convince’s some people to start using a neti.. works wonders..And as far as the water and salt are concerned,use only distilled water and neti pot salt,it will avoid any complications..you might be able to use sea salt or kosher salt,,you would have to use less..belive me,I know..And as far as seeing a woman use a neti–well to bad ,ihope you suffer from sinus problem’s,and never find out what’s going on..there are worst thing’s to watch a person do than using a NOSE DOUCH !!!

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