Abuja – Mothers should desist from using their mouths to suck out mucus from the noses of their children or risk contracting infection, an Ontologist, Dr Titus Ibekwe, has advised.
Ibekwe, who is also the Chairman of the FCT Branch of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), gave the advice in an interview on Thursday in Abuja.
He stressed that sucking out the mucus from the child’s nose was not enough to make the child better.
The ontologist said what was needed to be done was to contact a doctor that would deal with the cause of such illness.
“It is not a healthy practice; especially the sucking with mouth, all the organisms that are causing this infection you are trying to take in; to ingest it, and that may even predispose the mother to an infection that she never bargained for.
“Best thing to do is to try as much as possible to clean the nose as it’s flowing; if it’s so bad there are special suction machine that could be used to suck out those mucus.
“It is the bi-product of the infection that the child is having that you are seeing flowing out in the form of mucus until the primary infection is tackled.’’
Ibekwe also said it was wrong to use cotton buds to remove mucus from the child’s nose as the wool on the plastic tube could dislodge and block air passage.
He said once that happened, the child could inhale the wool, which he explained, could go down to the air way and cause upper airway obstruction.
Ibekwe said the obstruction could lead to instant death.
“The skin that lines the nose is very fragile; it has a lot of blood vessels around it; you know about children having nose bleeding; so this can cause such and we discourage it.
“A lot of times a child with a running nose breaths noisily and so keeps the mouth open in the night and hardly sleeps well; it’s not just ordinary catarrh as people call it or ordinary flu.
“In children, you have this adenoid; adenoid is a phenomenon, a lymph node that is at the back of the nose present in every child; but in some children it grows out of proportion and it obstructs the airway.
“There is some level that it will get to that even the medical management will not suffice; you may need to go for surgery and remove the adenoid.’’
Ibekwe therefore advised mothers to seek medical care for the children each time they had running noses, adding that only an expert would be able to diagnose the infection and treat such child.
The physician urged parents to ensure that their children did not insert foreign objects into their noses, saying it could cause nasal infection or running fluid.
He noted the fluid could have offensive odour and repulsive.
“Upper respiratory tract infection that lasts for more than one week is dangerous; therefore, there is the need to see a specialist for proper attention.’’