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A 36-year-old female asked:

Is nebulising with normal saline equivalent to giving steam to a 2.5 month ok infant for cold and congestion?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Pavel Conovalciuc
Family Medicine 23 years experience
No: Steam from tap water is hyposaline, meaning it is less concentrated than saline. But for inhalation purposes it is really not that important. Your body would balance it out. It'd be way different it that was intravenously, though. Before you do something like that to a 2.5 month old, i'd have him looked at to make sure his condition doesn't warrant more aggressive treatment than that.
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 46 years experience
OK for some to use: If a kid is playful and feeding well, but has nasal congestion and cough, i often use this if the parents have the equipment.The object is to help loosen the mucous and i find this can work as well or better than steaming a shower or using a vaporizer. If the kids work of breathing is visibly increased, feedings are off and the kid is not playful, an office eval would be in order.

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Last updated Oct 7, 2017

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