You’re working in pediatrics, when a mother comes in stating her 5 year old has sinusitis. He presents with fever, cough, runny nose, and some discomfort over where his frontal sinuses are. Does he have sinusitis? Not so fast!

The ethmoid and maxillary sinuses develop during gestation, and are therefore present at birth. The sphenoid sinuses are not fully developed (pneumatized) until 5 years old. The frontal sinuses begin to develop around 7-8 but are not fully pneumatized until your mid to late teens. So, in the case mentioned above, NOT sinusitis!


This is an aspect of pediatric development that will present itself in your practice with some regularity, so it is important to keep in mind.