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Common Cold in Babies

May 20, 2011

Introduction to common cold in babies

 As the name suggests, common cold is common among babies. Do you feel that you are constantly wiping your baby’s flowing nose? If yes, your baby is suffering from common cold that strikes more repeatedly to your baby’s respiratory system.

Most of the common colds last for few days but some even longer than that. In the meantime you can do lot many things to prevent and to cure this common situation.

Causes and spreading of common cold in babies

Most of the common colds are viral infections. It could be symptoms of any disease too. The common cold falls under upper respiratory tract infection that is caused by one or group of many viruses. The first and foremost sign of the common cold is often a congested or running nose. In case of small babies, their nasal passage is small and therefore, it does not take much swelling and mucus that can create congestion.

Nasal discharge is generally clear at first. As the cold progresses, the discharge generally becomes thicker and turns into green or yellow shades, which later becomes again clear and run again.

These viruses transmit either through droplet infection or through those common items that is used by an infected child and a healthy child. These common things include toys, clothes, utensils, waterbags, lunchboxes etc. If a child is affected with common cold, it can also spread by air and any sneezing, coughing and spitting accelerate the intensity of spreading the disease.

Signs and symptoms of common cold in babies

A low-grade fever begins when the running nose is noted. Sneezing, coughing and watery eyes are common. There will be lethargy and in some cases, babies do have difficulties in breathing. The nose gets blocked and often needs to be cleared off.

The child may stop playing and also breastfeeding as it is irritated with common cold. The respiratory rate may go high and lungs do labored breathing to meet the oxygen requirement. 

Treating and preventing common colds in babies

The best way is prevention. Preventing common cold will be far better than treating it since there is no perfect remedy to treat the actual root cause of common cold.
You can prevent common cold by avoiding the contact with a person or a child who has common cold. Your child should given a handkerchief to keep onto the mouth so that there are less chances of getting droplet infections. If your child is suffering from common cold, tell him or her to keep handkerchief while sneezing and coughing so that the infection is not spread to healthy children.

You can keep your room warm and avoid exposure towards the cold. Ayurveda believes that common cold can be treated very well by using herbal decongestant drugs and anti-cold drugs like holy basil, pushkarmool, ginger, black pepper etc.

You can also inhale the mint by putting super concentrated mint oil into hot water and inhale the steam. In infants, the herbal decongestant and anti-cold drops may be helpful. Fever can be treated according to the condition.

You can get plenty of fluids to your baby. Liquids can help loosing the congestion and can washout the toxins from the body. Breastmilk should not be stopped in any condition as it offers immunity to a baby. Your doctor may give you some saline drops that can clear off your baby’s stuffy nose that can help it breathing easier.

Some devices are available in the market known as ‘suction pumps’ that can suck the congestion from your baby’s nose. Use carefully and follow the instruction of your doctor and the matter that is written on pack of such suckers.

Some dangerous signs of common cold in babies

Common cold is okay until it remains common but when it turns to some dangerous signs and symptoms, it needs immediate medical attention otherwise, it can cause serious damage to the child.

If the fever is not mild and it has gone more than 102 degrees, you seek a doctor. If there is deep labored breathing and child is not able to breathe properly due to which, its nails, toes etc are becoming blue (cyanosis) then it is an emergency seeking medical attention. If the cold has stayed for more than a week or so, it requires special attention and other investigations.

If the common cold joins the cough and if there is a bleeding in the cough, it is something wrong badly and needs medical emergency and treatment. Thick green discharge and discharge from ear after getting common cold for several days may indicate something else and therefore, requires doctor’s consultancy.


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