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Does my child need antibiotics if his nose runs with yellow or green mucus?

When germs that cause colds first infect the nose and sinuses, the nose makes clear mucus. This helps wash the germs from the nose and sinuses. After two or three days, the body’s immune cells fight back, changing the mucus to a white or yellow color. As the bacteria that live in the nose grow back, they may also be found in the mucus, which changes the mucus to a greenish color. This is normal and does not mean your child needs an antibiotic. Antibiotics are needed only if your healthcare provider tells you that your child has sinusitis. Your child’s healthcare provider may prescribe other medicine or give you tips to help with a cold’s other symptoms like fever and cough, but antibiotics are not needed to treat the runny nose.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.