sneezing for 50+minutes


  • Specializes in education, school nursing, med-surg, urgent care. Has 9 years experience.

So I had a real head scratcher case today.... a middle school student came to the clinic and was sneezing about every 15 seconds. No known allergies. It just started while sitting in class. He tried blowing his nose, sitting in front of a fan, using moistened gauze to clean the nares... nothing! (And I don't have any exciting nasal meds in the clinic.) I called the parent for pick-up because it just didn't stop...Have any of you experienced this before?


1 Article; 4,787 Posts

Specializes in Pediatrics Retired.

Not for that long! Unless he's figured out how to make himself sneeze. Does this happen often?


1,109 Posts

Specializes in NCSN. Has 4 years experience.

I never had sneezes but my best friend gets hiccuping fits that last for 20-25 minutes. Her's is a diaphragm nerve issue, I can't think what would cause sneezing

I had a 9th grader last year that this 'happened' to. She sneezed for 2 days....about every 5-10 seconds. She reports it happens every year. Called Mom, no she doesn't sneeze like that at home, and no it's never happened before. Tried all the tricks..then all of a sudden Mom called and said she was attention seeking and to tell her she was going to have to leave school (she gets perfect attendance every year). I called her down (actually, I'm pretty sure she was sent) and told her that I had called Mom to come get her and will every day that the sneezes continue. The sneezing stopped. Pretty weird. Hopefully your LO is all better now.

ruby_jane, BSN, RN

3,142 Posts

Specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing. Has 14 years experience.

You made a legit call to send the kid home because 1) the kid was unable to be in the learning environment; and 2) I bet that was a disruption to the learning environment. What else did you find out? I'm intrigued.


1,294 Posts

I had one once - his situation was attention seeking behavior. Teacher would send him down to me - we would do the blow the nose, saline spray etc, then have him sit in my office. If he was ignored for a few moments the sneezing would miraculously stop but as long as kids or other adults would make comments it would go on and on.

Davey Do

1 Article; 10,290 Posts

Specializes in Psych (25 years), Medical (15 years). Has 44 years experience.
a middle school student came to the clinic and was sneezing about every 15 seconds for 50+ minutes



34 Posts

Specializes in ICU, HIV, Peds (last 30 Yrs<;o). Has 40 years experience.

If he was ignored for a few moments the sneezing would miraculously stop....

Ahh, the old "benign neglect" trick...worked for me just this morning with one of my little drama queens who was trying to convince me that she was having difficulty breathing--she was forcing her abdominal muscles to "jump" every few seconds, NOS--only happened when anyone was paying her attention--stopped when I was busy with other kids, started up as soon as I turned my attention to her.

Who knew school nursing would involve covert ops and stealth......