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Is it harmful to gag on saline nasal irrigation?

  1. When choosing normal saline solution, look for a “sterile” product to ensure safety. If you accidently gag on or swallow some of saline solution during nasal irrigation, it is still safe. 
  2. Will I get pneumonia if I gag on saline solution during nasal irrigation? The amount of solution used during nasal irrigation is 5-10 mL. If you gag on saline solution, your cough reflex will get most of it out. A small amount may be swallowed down your throat. It is highly unlikely to cause pneumonia.
  3. If your child cry during nasal irrigation. The epiglottis -a small cartilage “lid”- will cover your windpipe and prevent saline solution from entering the respiratory system.

   It is important to choose a “sterile” normal saline solution for your child’s nasal irrigation.

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