10 Benefits of Seawater to Clean Your Baby's Nose

Although there are several options on the market to clean the baby's nose, the most appropriate solution is usually the use of seawater.
10 Benefits of Seawater to Clean Your Baby's Nose
Maria del Carmen Hernandez

Reviewed and approved by the dermatologist Maria del Carmen Hernandez.

Last update: 16 December, 2022

Seawater is one of the most practical solutions to clean your baby’s nose. In fact, it’s usually one of the most frequent recommendations in pediatric consultations in case of a cold or a runny nose.

Nasal lavage in babies

Since decongestant drugs are totally contraindicated in the first years of life, nasal lavage becomes one of the most effective solutions to fight snot and congestion in babies. Although according to a study published by Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences, physiological solution can be used, the use of seawater is more effective, as its components provide multiple benefits. Other common options may include the following:

  1. Nasal aspirator
  2. Rubber bulb
  3. Nasal drops
  4. Aerosols

The benefits of seawater to clean your baby’s nose

It should be noted that nasal mucus isn’t dangerous and that aspirators or bulb syringes are often uncomfortable for babies. Therefore, seawater can be very useful for its added benefits.

1. Seawater contains minerals

According to a study published in 2016, seawater contains many types of minerals, such as Ca, Mg, Cl, Na V, and Se. In addition, it’s a good source of nutrients, as minerals provide many health benefits.

A mother swimming in the ocean with her baby.
Seawater is 100% natural and, despite being filtered and sterilized, it retains all the beneficial components, making it very effective for clearing your baby’s nose.

2. It’s natural and effective

Seawater is highly sterile and 100% isotonic and natural, which makes it perfect for washing babies’ nostrils. It can even be used from the first day of life, as it is a harmless solution for children. Seawater is even more effective than other products that aren’t entirely natural.

You may be interested in: How to Decongest a Baby’s Nose

3. Can be used every day

Seawater to clean your baby’s nose can be used every day. Even if your little one doesn’t have a cold or congestive process, it serves as a care and hygiene measure and helps to eliminate the mucus that the child can’t expel on their own.

4. Prevents otitis

As with the use of physiological solution, seawater washes away mucus located in the upper respiratory tract. This prevents the development of otitis characterized by the accumulation of mucus in the ear, high temperature and pain.

5. Helps to alleviate symptoms

The use of seawater to clean the baby’s nose can be considered a non-drug treatment that provides benefits beyond simple hygiene. In fact, it relieves symptoms, helps to control illnesses, and helps prevent or reduce recurrences or complications.

6. Keeps nasal passages hydrated

The composition of seawater itself, together with the aforementioned benefits, contributes to maintaining an optimal state of hydration of the mucous membrane of the nasal passages.

7. Seawater is decongestive

In addition to fulfilling its function of clearing away mucus, seawater also provides anti-inflammatory and decongestant properties.

The benefits of seawater to clean your baby's nose.
Seawater keeps the nasal passages hydrated, helps to clean and eliminate particles, and provides decongestant properties.

8. Eliminates particles

Nasal washes with seawater help cleanse pollution, dust, pollen, and other types of particles that are attached to the nasal mucosa. This method of care and hygiene can be beneficial in cases of polle n or dust allergy. It’s also effective for those who are sensitive to pollution.

In fact, a study recently published by the European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology found that seawater is “effective in removing foreign particles through increased mucociliary clearance and in improving wound repair in the nasal mucosa.”

9. Prevents sinusitis

The fluidification and the elimination of mucus by dragging, as well as the cleaning of the mucous membranes, contribute to preventing the development of sinusitis. Seawater can also be used to promote the healing of this discomfort as a complement to the treatment prescribed by a doctor.

10. Acts against dryness

Seawater can be very useful to clean your baby’s nose and moisturize the mucous membranes. In this way, it improves the sensation of nasal dryness related to exposure to fumes, dry air, and other environmental factors.

When to consult a pediatrician?

After a few days of trying to decongest your baby’s nose without improvement, it’s best to turn to a specialist. In addition, the following signs and symptoms should also be treated urgently:

Seawater as an ally for nasal decongestion

While nasal congestion and discharge may be alarming for some parents, they are part of everyone’s life, including babies. Therefore, it’s important to learn how to safely and properly clear the nose to make them more comfortable. The use of seawater to reduce congestion can be very helpful and effective.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Mohd Nani SZ, Majid FA, Jaafar AB, Mahdzir A, Musa MN. Potential Health Benefits of Deep Sea Water: A Review. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016;2016:6520475. doi: 10.1155/2016/6520475. Epub 2016 Dec 26. PMID: 28105060; PMCID: PMC5221345.
  • Köksal T, Çizmeci MN, Bozkaya D, Kanburoğlu MK, Şahin Ş, Taş T, Yüksel ÇN, Tatli MM. Comparison between the use of saline and seawater for nasal obstruction in children under 2 years of age with acute upper respiratory infection. Turk J Med Sci. 2016 Jun 23;46(4):1004-13. doi: 10.3906/sag-1507-18. PMID: 27513397.
  • Huang S, Constant S, De Servi B, Meloni M, Saaid A, Culig J, Bertini M. Is a diluted seawater-based solution safe and effective on human nasal epithelium? Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2021 Aug;278(8):2837-2842. doi: 10.1007/s00405-020-06527-1. Epub 2021 Jan 3. PMID: 33392764; PMCID: PMC8266784.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.