Children's Hospital Colorado

Treating Sinusitis in Children (S2:E38)

Sinusitis is inflammation or infection of the sinuses. Sinusitis is also commonly called rhino sinusitis or a sinus infection. Since sinusitis generally begins with the common cold, pediatricians across the world are familiar with the condition. Acute cases of pediatric sinusitis last up to four weeks and have a variety of causes. Further, approximately 6% to 7% of children with respiratory symptoms have acute sinusitis.

On this episode of Charting Pediatrics, our pediatric ear, nose and throat specialist explains how to manage these cases. He also shares helpful insights into when to refer patients to a specialist.

Listen to pediatric medical experts discuss management of sinusitis in children

In this episode, we talk with Steven Hamilton, MD. In his experience, most children will get six to 12 upper respiratory infections each year. Clearly, this is an important topic for all practicing pediatricians. Dr. Hamilton explains the causes, diagnosis and treatment of sinusitis in children. His expertise also includes guidelines for safe antibiotic prescribing practices.

Dr. Hamilton is a pediatric otolaryngologist at Children’s Hospital Colorado in Colorado Springs. Additionally, he is an assistant professor of otolaryngology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

Children's Hospital, Colorado Springs opened in Spring 2019. Learn more about our Colorado Springs hospital.

In this episode, our expert discusses:

  • Predisposing factors in sinusitis, including inflammatory, anatomic and immunological considerations
  • Specific symptoms to look for when diagnosing sinusitis in both adults and children
  • How the presentation of sinusitis symptoms differs by age
  • Challenges physicians will experience when diagnosing young children, especially those who attend day care
  • How to differentiate between a viral upper respiratory infection and bacterial sinusitis
  • When CT scans of the sinuses are useful and should be considered for diagnosis
  • Why CT scans are not a helpful tool to differentiate viral and bacterial sinusitis
  • Which sinuses are most well-formed at birth
  • The course of pneumatization over the child’s lifetime
  • The best practices for treatment as outlined in the AAP Clinical Practice Guideline for the Diagnosis and Management of Acute Bacterial Sinusitis in Children Aged 1 to 18 Years
  • How to prescribe antibiotics for patients with acute bacterial sinusitis
  • When primary care physicians should refer patients to a pediatric specialist
  • Other non-antibiotic medications that pediatricians can prescribe to help patients
  • Why it’s important to look for intracranial involvement and significant swelling around the eyes

Treatment for pediatric sinusitis at Children’s Colorado

At Children’s Colorado, our pediatric providers and experts understand that children and teens deserve special attention. Our Sinusitis Clinic has been operating for more than 20 years. It is staffed by a pediatric otolaryngologist, an infectious diseases specialist and an allergist/immunologist. Refer a patient to Children’s Colorado.