As a Mom, we do all we can to help our children to be comfortable, happy and healthy. When our baby is sick, we want to do everything we can – especially if they are congested. Nasal aspirators are widely used to help relieve congestion and help make eating, sleeping and playing easier.
So, what is a Nasal Aspirator?
A nasal aspirator is a device that is designed to specifically remove mucus from the nose through the application of suction. It can be powered or unpowered. An aspirator is not generally needed for older children and adults, because we can blow our nose, but babies and young children cannot do this, so an aspirator helps immensely.
Awesome, so I can just jump online and buy one?
A quick hunt on CVS.com leaves us spoiled for choice (and baffled), there are so many choices! Thirteen to be exact. There are bulb aspirators, electric aspirators, aspirators that you need to suck on, aspirators with saline, and without saline. The choices are seemingly endless!
Oh, my – how do I know what is best for me and my baby?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using saline and suction to loosen and remove nasal congestion in young babies, so that narrows the field a little. In hospitals, the pediatricians use very specific suction pressure and flow settings to make sure that they do not cause damage to tiny noses and delicate lungs (yes, if the pressure is too high, you can cause injury).
Ok – so they do that in hospital, why is that important to me now?
Doctors understand that they need effective suction, but more than that, effective flow. I’ll get a little tangential – imagine that you are trying to drink a shake on a hot summer day. We’ve all risked the brain freeze and sucked hard on that straw… to find that we don’t get much at all. The straw collapses in, our cheeks are drawn in on each other, and we’re left without a drop. So, we try a new tactic, suck a little gentler, and ah… smooth, cool goodness. I hate to say it, but it’s like that with nasal suction. Suck too hard and you won’t get what you’re after, but slow it down a little, and we get great results.
Next question – do I need to take my child to the ER or pediatrician to get this?
No, not unless there is another reason to take them, like a fever, or if they are lethargic or unusually irritable. An ER pediatrician in San Francisco saw that there were plenty of parents coming into his ER with babies who were well but just needed to get some relief from their boogers. He was shocked to see that products that had FDA approval didn’t meet the strict clinical guidelines that he operated on and that children were at risk of harm. So, he designed the CLEARinse electric aspirator that could be used at home, using saline and the safe, effective suction that he used in the ER.
Well, it’s not the cheapest on the market…
Correct – it’s not the cheapest. But, it is the only aspirator that consistently meets the clinical guidelines – saline & safe suction – and can be used by the whole family. If you have an FSA account, it’s eligible, so that takes the sting out a little.
Hopefully, this information makes the decision a little easier and brings relief for you and your baby.