Clinical Tip: Saline for stuffy noses: The rule of 2s

January 1, 2007

Here's an easy-to-remember rule for parents who ask about the appropriate use of saline to relieve an infant's stuffy nose-that is, how much saline to put in the nose and how long to wait before suctioning. I call it the 2-2-2 rule: The nose has two nostrils; put two drops of saline in each nostril, one nostril at a time; wait two seconds, then suction.

Majdi Abu-Salih, MDHartford, Wis.