Babies will have at least one episode of common cold during the first few months of their life and an average baby can suffer from the condition at least 10 times before reaching his/her 2nd birthday.
Common cold affects the respiratory tract of the baby and cause nasal congestion, runny nose and a sore throat. Colds are usually mild and subside within 10 days. Babies under 2 months have a weak immune system and are susceptible to serious complications.
How common cold is treated
- Monitor the temperature of the baby every few hours using the rectal thermometer. Seek medical help immediately if the fever rises above 100.4 degrees F.
- Give the baby the prescribed pain medication such as acetaminophen to lessen the fever.
- Use a bulb syringe in suctioning the nasal congestion of infants aged 1 month and below. Squeeze the bulb of the syringe to let air out and then insert the tip of the syringe which is about ¼ inch into the nostril of the baby. Slowly release the bulb to suction loose the mucus from the nose of the baby.
- Install a humidifier inside the room of the baby to lessen the congestion and promote better sleep. Position the humidifier on a high and stable surface that cannot be reached by other children. Switch off the humidifier if there is already high humidity such as condensation on the windows as well as the furniture to prevent the growth of the mold and bacteria.
- Apply a saline nose drop in every nostril every couple of hours to help loosen the mucus and relax the inside of the nose of the baby. The saline drops help improve the symptoms of the infant. Saline solution is a mixture of sea salt and water which are readily available in pharmacies.
- Elevate the head of the baby by placing couple of pillows between the springs of the crib and head of the mattress. Avoid elevating the head of the baby directly on pillows to help prevent suffocation and injuries.
- Give the baby adequate amounts of liquids to loosen nasal congestion and dehydration.
If there is thick green nasal discharge, dry diapers and the cough that persists for more than a week, seek medical help. If the baby declines to drink fluids, has episodes of vomiting, breathing difficulties and coughing up sputum with blood, seek medical help immediately.
- Avoid providing the infant with any over-the-counter medication for common cold to prevent making the condition worse.
- Keep the baby away from people with common cold during the first few days of the illness to prevent acquiring the infection.
- Anybody who comes in direct contact with the affected baby should wash hands frequently to prevent transmission.
- Wash hands before feeding the baby.
- Clean toys and pacifiers of the baby regularly.
- When coughing or sneezing, it is vital to use a tissue and then discard it properly.