How to Dry Up a Runny Nose in Children

Updated April 17, 2017

A child with a runny nose can be miserable, and can make you miserable, too. There are some ways to bring relief to your child, and you, by drying up that runny nose.

Put a humidifier in your child's room. The moisture that the humidifier adds to the air will loosen some of the nasal discharge so that it is easier to remove with a tissue or syringe.

Several times a day, use a nasal saline spray in your child's nose. This will loosen the mucus as well.

Squeeze the bulb part of the syringe and insert it carefully into one of your child's nostrils. Holding the other nostril shut, slowly release the bulb. This will remove some of the loosened mucus.

Encourage your child to gently blow her nose as necessary.

Remove any possible allergens or irritants that might be causing your child's runny nose. These include dust, pet fur, cigarette smoke and strong cleaning products.


Call a doctor if your child runs a temperature of 39.4 degrees C or higher along with a runny nose, if your child seems to be having difficulty breathing, or if your child's runny nose persists for more than two weeks.


Do not use any medicine to clear up a runny nose, including decongestants or cold medicines, without your doctor's approval.

Things You'll Need

  • Humidifier
  • Saline
  • Bulb syringe
  • Tissues
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Keren (Carrie) Perles is a freelance writer with professional experience in publishing since 2004. Perles has written, edited and developed curriculum for educational publishers. She writes online articles about various topics, mostly about education or parenting, and has been a mother, teacher and tutor for various ages. Perles holds a Bachelor of Arts in English communications from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.