A bulb syringe or a suction catheter may be used to suction your child’s mouth and nose. Parents and any hospital caregivers can use a bulb syringe to pump out mucus from the baby’s throat. Before you leave, they will teach you how to use a bulb syringe. A nurse, doctor, or respiratory therapist will suction the back of the nose and throat to remove mucus that is too deep in the throat.
What is suctioning?
Suctioning is the process of pump out mucus from baby’s throat, mouth, or back of the throat using a bulb syringe or a catheter (thin, flexible tube)
If your child is choking, what should you do?
Too much mucus in a baby’s nose or throat can cause gagging or mild choking. The surplus mucus will usually be spat up or vomited out by your infant.
EMERGENCY FIRST AID FOR BABY CHOKING ON MUCUS
If you notice your baby coughing or sputtering, crying, or turning pale, react quickly to pump out mucus from baby’s throat:
- Place your baby on your forearm, belly down, with their head dropped slightly.
- Using the palm of your hand, softly touch the baby’s top back. Your infant will happily drool away when the mucous ball has been freed.
- If your baby is not breathing normally after a few seconds after doing this, call 911 immediately.
Why does your child need to be suctioned?
A stuffy nose may hamper your child’s breathing. This can make your child fussy, especially when trying to eat or sleep. Pump out mucus from baby’s throat when it is necessary.
The following are some illnesses that cause the body to produce excessive mucus:
- A common cold
- Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
- Suctioning is also needed when cough reflexes are insufficient to remove mucus, saliva, or vomit.
- Some infants, especially preemies, do not have fully developed cough reflexes.
- Illnesses or injuries to the nerves or brain can impair one’s capacity to cough. Mucus can build up at the back of the throat, nose, and mouth.
- Deep coughing to clear mucus can be difficult after certain types of surgery.
Symptoms that you might need to suction mucus
Babies may have difficulty breathing or sleeping if they have too much mucus.
You may notice that your child is breathing quickly or loudly. They may also sneeze, cough, or vomit because their tiny body tries to remove the extra goo.
While mucus generally protects your infant from germs, too much of it can cause bacteria to grow and infections to occur. That is why it is important to keep an eye on it and to wipe away and suction out mucus regularly.
Here are a few home remedies that can help your child feel more comfortable again:
- Using a soft cloth or a tissue, remove any excess mucus.
- Gently suction out excess mucus with a sterilized rubber bulb (more on this below).
- Use a saline spray to help loosen and clear dried snot from the nostrils.
- Keep the air moist in the baby’s room by using a cool-mist humidifier. Don’t forget to clean the machine regularly to prevent mold from growing inside it.
- Bathe your baby in warm water. Breathing in steam helps in the removal of mucus. Make sure to keep an eye on the baby while he or she is taking a bath.
- Feed the infant regularly to keep them hydrated.
- Vacuum up dust and pet hairs to remove any potential allergens.
- Put your baby on your knee and gently rub their back to help gravity in removing some mucus.
What not to do if you want to get rid of your baby’s mucus
You should not use vapour rubs on babies. According to a 2009 ferret study, vapour rubs may be harmful to newborns and children under two. (The respiratory tissues of ferrets are similar to those of humans.)
- Never give a baby cold or flu medicine.
- Never pour water or any other liquid into a baby’s nose to clear away mucus.
To make a saltwater solution for bulb suctioning, follow these steps:
Mucus can be thick. To help thin the mucus and make it easier to remove, you can utilize a saltwater solution. You can buy a saltwater solution (saline) at a pharmacy or make it at home using the instructions below—suction using a saltwater solution up to four times per day.
- 1 cup boiled water and 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Store in an airtight jar or bottle. It should be labelled with the date it was made.
- Throw after 3 days. Make a new mixture if you need more.
Suctioning with a bulb syringe
As your baby cannot blow his or her nose, you must use a bulb syringe to remove extra mucus. A bulb syringe (also known as a suction bulb) is a little rubber device with a long tip attached to the end of a bulb.
Prepare a bowl of tap water to clean the bulb between suctioning attempts. There are numerous ways you can put your child in so that he or she does not push you away or wiggle out of your arms. Your child’s nurse will help you in locating the best job for your child.
If you need to suction both the mouth and the nose, suction the mouth first. When suctioning the mouth, place the bulb syringe at the inside of your child’s cheek.
Before and after suctioning, wash your hands.
- Hold the bulb’s tip between your middle and forefinger. The bulb should be in contact with the palm of your hand. Use your thumb to push out the air before inserting the tip inside your baby’s nose. If the mucus is thick, insert 2-3 drops of saltwater solution into your child’s nose before inserting the bulb syringe.
- Insert the tip of the bulb into your child’s mouth or nose, then slowly release your thumb. Suction is created when you release pressure on the bulb with your thumb. This will get rid of any mucus or fluid in your child’s nose or mouth.
- If the bulb does not reinflate, it is usually because the tip is pressed against the cheek or nose lining or because the tip is blocked by thick mucus. Remove and clean the bulb syringe if pressing back on the bulb does not reinflate it.
- Remove the bulb syringe out of your child’s mouth or nose. Push mucus or fluids out of the bulb syringe with your thumb onto a tissue or paper towel.
- Repeat as needed. Allow your child to recover and breathe in between suction attempts. Wipe your child’s nose gently with a tissue as needed.
- When finished, clean the bulb syringe in a dish of soapy water, then squeeze the soapy water out. Allow the bulb syringe to air dry. Place the tip of the bulb syringe into the bowl of warm water while squeezing it with your thumb, and then release your thumb to pull the water into the bulb syringe. Push the bulb with your thumb to force the dirty water out into the sink or another bowl. Do not let the dirty water mix with the clean water.
- Use a separate bulb syringe for each child. After 7 days, discard bulb syringes.
It is normal for your baby to have mucus in their nose, mouth, and throat – even a lot of it at times. You don’t need to be worried as long as your baby is feeding, sleeping, and breathing normally.
Keep an eye on the colour and consistency of your baby’s mucus. Clear mucus is a good indicator. Inform your doctor of any changes.
Clear away excess mucus in the baby’s mouth and nostrils with a soft cloth or gently suction it out with a rubber bulb syringe.