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After a fever, snot is one of the issues related to children's health that parents worry about the most. And it is that we are tormented by the elderly and, quickly, we have the worst. But then being too exaggerated? What do the brats mean for the child's health? What is it alerting us to? Today we are going to banish myths and more myths about green snot in children.
Faced with the appearance of green snot in their children, many parents start to medicate their children with anti-flu or anti-allergy drugs or go urgently to the pediatrician's office with the aim of ending up with those 'blessed snot' so heavy and unsightly that many little ones they eat.
On the other hand, many other parents do not care about the presence of snot in their children, until the worst snot appears on the road, the one I like to call 'the evil green snot'; the culprit, according to parents and family in general, of infections in the baby.
That's when they immediately go to a pharmacy to buy the green snot warrior, the 'antibiotic' that will end that fearsome infection that produces green snot in the child or they take him to the doctor to confirm that there is an infection. But what is their surprise when the doctor explains to them that the green mucus does not mean infection therefore, he will not indicate antibiotics. They don't believe it!
It will begin by clarifying that all people have snot, in many parts of our body, with different functions and that these help it to function properly. But I will focus on the mucus that is produced at the level of the nose, from where up to ¾ of a liter of mucus can be produced per day, through the goblet cells that are found in the mucosa that lines the inside of the nose.
Normally this mucus is clear, thin, is 95% water and does not come out through the nostrils, but most of us swallow it, believe it or not.
The function of mucus is very important because it can be said that it helps the body to be free of impurities or microorganisms, since it is a filter that acts as a protective barrier to keep us free from diseases, especially respiratory diseases.
Mucus can trap pollen, dust, bacteria, viruses and many other impurities, which is why it is responsible for lubricating and cleaning the membranes of the nose and moistening the air and regulating its temperature.
When viruses or bacteria enter our body through the nostrils, abundant mucus begins to be produced and to generate sneezes to get rid of these bugs and send them abroad again.
How does it lead to green mucus? The mucus that was transparent, will become semi-transparent, very fluid and abundant, and will begin to drip constantly through the nostrils, described by the parents as 'a little water'.
As the cold progresses, the mucus will continue to change in color and consistency and what was semi-transparent will change from light yellow to greenish yellow and then to different shades of green, and that is when I see children with snot in my office green.
And the reason why the mucus turns green is because our immune system begins to produce large numbers of defense cells, called neutrophils, which will fight against viruses and bacteria to defend the body from this attack.
Bacteria, when they are phagocytosed (swallowed) by neutrophils, are destroyed and this is possible by the action of enzymes, among these, peroxidase, which has a high content of iron that uses it as a cofactor and the oxidation of this iron scattered throughout mucus gives it that green color that worries parents so much.
For parents to stay calm, this would be the conclusion
- Green mucus does not mean that there is an infectious process, therefore, the child does not need the administration of antibiotics to combat them.
- The use of antibiotics when it is not necessary generates a resistance of bacteria treatment, for which they should not be indicated or abused.
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