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Your Baby Week Eighteen (Four Months Old)


Updated April 28, 2014

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Infant Q&A - Baby Sinus Infections

Do babies have sinuses? Can they get sinus infections?

It is a common misunderstanding that babies do not have sinuses.

In fact, babies are born with sinuses, but they are just not very well developed. Newborns have very small maxillary (under your cheeks) and ethmoid sinuses (between your eyes), but they can't be seen on regular x-rays until a child is one to two years old.

The frontal sinuses (under your forehead), which often contribute to typical adult sinus headaches, and sphenoid sinuses (around your eyes) don't begin to develop until a child's second year and can't be seen on an x-ray until the child is five to six years old.

The sinuses continue to grow until your child becomes a teenager.

Is it is a Sinus Infection?

And since they do have sinuses, babies can get sinus infections. However, just because your baby has a green or yellow runny nose, that doesn't mean that he has a sinus infection.

A runny nose, even if the discharge has some color to it, is more often caused by a simple cold. If the runny nose lasts for more than 10 to 14 days, then your child's cold may have turned into a sinus infection (sinusitis).


American Academy of Pediatrics Subcommittee on Management of Sinusitis and Committee on Quality Improvement. Clinical Practice Guideline: Management of Sinusitis. Pediatrics 2001 108: 798-808.

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