Fathers can try these tactics:
- Address your kids’ allergies: They are at the age now when they’ve gotten past the constant colds of preschool, so a stuffy nose is probably the result of allergies. The most common allergens affecting children are dust mites, animal dander, pollen, and molds.
- Keep them hydrated: If you live in a dry climate or if heating or air-conditioning seems to be drying out your kids’ nasal passages, offer them lots of fluids during the day, or try a humidifier in his bedroom at night. A nasal spray may also help.
- Encourage them to wash his hands: No child is going to want to wash his hands all the time, but explain to your children that washing them a few times a day and keeping their nails trimmed so that dirt doesn’t build up behind them will help keep them from getting sick.
- Teach them to use a handkerchief: Whether you give them a cloth handkerchief to carry in his pocket or keep them supplied with packets of tissues, encourage them to blow their noses occasionally and then wipe out the nostrils with a hankie in private.
- Check things out: If your children are drawing blood because of this habit, or if the habit seems to be one of a constellation of nervous behaviors (they’re still sucking their thumb, picking their nose until it bleeds, and having trouble sleeping, for example), consult his pediatrician or a children’s therapist.