Conquering Congestion in Canadian Kids (and the whole Family!) This Cold Season

Nasal irrigation with seawater gains popularity as an effective way to relieve cold-induced nasal and sinus symptoms, and prevent illness for the whole family

TORONTO, Jan. 15, 2014 /CNW/ - Every year millions of Canadians fall prey to the common cold, suffering through stuffy noses, sinus congestion, and sore throats. Children are especially susceptible to the cold. They catch twice as many colds as adults,1 and often develop complications like ear infections.2 There are few options to help relieve their symptoms - OTC cough and cold medications cannot be used in children under the age of six.3 But there is an effective natural-source alternative to vanquish nasal congestion: nasal rinses, like hydraSense®, the only nasal care product line sold in Canada made with 100% undiluted, natural-source seawater. This ancient technique is gaining popularity4 as modern science has proven that it is a safe*, effective and side effect-free way to relieve congestion in adults, children and even babies.5,6 Moreover, recent studies have shown that daily use even helps prevent colds.6

"The common cold is, unfortunately, an unpleasant staple of Canadians winters," said Dr. Yvonne Chan, Assistant Professor, Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, University of Toronto, and Otolaryngologist at Trillium Health Centre and Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. "There is no cure and Canadians are increasingly seeking natural ways to relieve their symptoms. Saline nasal rinses are a great way to help prevent the common cold and relieve congestion for the whole family."

The Common Cold in Canada - Hitting Kids Hard

The average Canadian adult will catch two to three colds each year.1 In fact, in any given month one in three Canadian adults experiences a cold, flu or sore throat.7

Young children haven't had a chance to build immunity to the more than 100 different viruses that cause the common cold.8 As such, the common cold hits children even harder - the average Canadian child will catch five to seven colds per year.1 Children also play a big role in spreading the cold - they introduce colds to their families three times more often than working adults.7

Colds hurt the health of the economy too - they are the leading cause of workplace absenteeism, and visits to the doctor.9 In fact, the common cold costs the Canadian healthcare system about $552 million in direct and indirect costs each year, and accounts for 1.5 million sick days in Canada - which translates to $1 billion per year in lost productivity.1

Natural-Source Seawater Solutions Offer Nasal Congestion Relief for Children and Adults

For Canadians seeking a safe*, natural-source way to relieve congestion for the whole family during cold season, nasal irrigation systems, like hydraSense®, offer a great option. Studies have shown that nasal irrigation reduces nasal inflammation as well as relieves nasal symptoms, with almost no side effects.5

Some nasal irrigation solutions are also safe*to use on babies and young children, and is an effective way to relieve congestion in these youngest cold sufferers - great news for mom looking for a way to ease the discomfort of a stuffy nose in her little one.

"Children are hit especially hard by the cold, catching two to three times as many colds as adults," said Dr. Chan. "When your kids are stuffed up and feeling miserable, nasal rinses are a great, natural way to help offer them some relief."

Not only does 100% natural-source seawater nasal care like hydraSense® offer relief from cold-induced nasal and sinus symptoms, it also has a preventive effect if used daily - studies have shown that children on preventive nasal irrigation have fewer coughs, sore throats and congestion and get sick half as often as children not using the rinses.10 They also miss half as many school days and have three times less illness-related complications.10

This effect extends to mom and dad too; adults who practice daily preventive nasal irrigation get fewer sinus infections, and when they do catch upper respiratory tract infections they have shorter symptom duration and fewer days with symptoms.6

"Canadians are constantly exposed to nasty viruses in the cold season," said Dr. Chan. "But if you use a nasal rinse like hydraSense® regularly, it can actually help prevent colds from taking hold in the first place."

About hydraSense®

hydraSense® is the number one nasal solution in Canada, and the only nasal care product line in Canada made with 100% undiluted, natural-source seawater. It is carefully desalinated to optimal levels, preserving its rich minerals and resulting in a solution of exceptional quality. With a range of applications, hydraSense® can be used to relieve congestion from allergies and viruses, or for recovery from endonasal surgery. hydraSense® is great for the whole family; its gentle mist isotonic solutions are gentle enough to be used on infants, while its hypertonic solutions are strong enough to relieve tough congestion in adults, with no rebound effects. It is the most recommended nasal rinse by pharmacists in Canada, and by physicians and pharmacists in Quebec.

About Merck

Today's Merck is working to help the world be well. Merck is a global health care leader with a diversified portfolio of prescription medicines, vaccines, consumer care and animal health products. In Canada, Merck markets more than 530 pharmaceutical, consumer care and animal health products. Merck is a leader in a broad range of areas such as cardiology, infectious diseases, respiratory, vaccines, women's health and sun care, and is focused on expanding offerings in other areas, including virology, oncology and diabetes.

Based in Montréal, Québec, Merck employs approximately 1250 people across Canada. The Merck Canada manufacturing facility in Québec has been designated by its parent company as a Centre of Excellence for the global production of liquids, ointments and creams. Merck is one of the top R&D investors in Canada, with investments totalling $26.1 million in 2011. For more information about our operations in Canada, visit

* When used as indicated.


1 Ng et al. Why the common cold and flu matter: A look at prevention. Accessed June 28, 2013.
2 The Common Cold - Symptoms. Mayo Clinic. Accessed July 9, 2013
3Guidance Document: Nonprescription Oral Paediatric Cough and Cold Labeling Standard. Health Canada. Accessed June 28, 2013.
4 Egan, M. et al. Saline irrigation spells relief for sinusitis sufferers. J Fam Pract. 2009 January; 58(1): 29-32. Accessed July 2, 2013
5 Khianey, R. et al. Is nasal saline irrigation all it is cracked up to be? Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2012 Jul;109(1):20-8. doi: 10.1016/j.anai.2012.04.019. Accessed June 28, 2013.
6 Rabago et al. Saline Nasal Irrigation for Upper Respiratory Conditions. American Family Physician. Volume 80, Number 10. November 15, 2009
7 Why the Common Cold and Flu Matter. Queen's University Report. As cited on Accessed June 28, 2013.
8 Colds in Children. Canadian Paediatric Society. Accessed July 9, 2013.
9 Pubmed Health. Zinc for the common cold. Accessed June 28, 2013.
10 Slapak et al., Efficacy of isotonic nasal wash (seawater) in the treatment and prevention of rhinitis in children. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2008 Jan;134(1):67-74. doi: 10.1001/archoto.2007.19. Accessed July 10, 2013


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