children can successfully use a neti pot for nasal cleansing under basically the same conditions as adults. if they are totally congested, it is not recommended. similarly if they have a serious sinus infection, or infection in the ear canal, or have had recent ear, nose or sinus surgery, they would not be candidates for nasal cleansing, unless specifically advised by a qualified health care practitioner in charge of the case.
nasal cleansing is intended to be a hygiene procedure. regular practice of this procedure can dramatically reduce the buildup of excess mucus, as well as provide beneficial moisturizing for dry nasal passages and remove foreign irritants such as particles of dust, pollen or other particulates.
we normally recommend using the Ancient Secrets Nasal Cleansing Pot, Plastic Travel Model when working with children, rather than the original ceramic version. This is primarily because the plastic model is virtually unbreakable even if dropped, and is much lighter allowing children to handle it more easily.
The same conditions apply as for adults with the 1/4 teaspoon of non-iodized table salt (or USP grade salt sold specifically for nasal cleansing) in warm (but not “hot” or “cold” water) mixed into the neti pot.
The first thing necessary is to describe to the child the process so that they know what to do and what to expect. The fact that when the head is properly tilted the water simply flows in one nostril and out the other without it affecting the breathing is an important piece of information. Ensuring the head is not tilted too far back is another consideration. Advising the child to breathe in a normal way, but through the mouth, during the process is a third consideration.
Guide the child to slowly raise the nasal pot and allow the water to begin flowing. Once the child gets the hang of it, they can basically do it on their own. It is just the first time working through the concept and the specifics of the practice that they really need handholding and guidance.