COMMON COLD IN BABIES & TODDLERS
Babies and toddlers are too prone to infections. The immunity of your baby takes time to mature despite the antibodies present in breast milk. Babies have a natural tendency of touching other babies, multiple surfaces, sand, toys, etc., followed by licking of fingers, touching their nose and eyes. It makes a favourable environment for the common cold germs to spread quickly. Not only that, parents or caregivers also end up transmitting germs to babies. As a caregiver or a parent, your routine comprises changing their diapers frequently and feeding them afterward. You may not have any signs of the common cold but still, carry those germs that unknowingly get transmitted to the baby.
Keep scrolling to learn more about the common cold in babies and toddlers and what you can do about it. Let us get started.
5 COMMON COLD SYMPTOMS IN BABIES
Protecting yourself and your loved ones, especially babies and toddlers, from the common cold is a top priority during the winter or fall season. Common cold symptoms in babies are more or less similar to those in adults.
Here are five common cold symptoms to watch for:
1. Nasal symptoms:
Common cold symptoms like runny nose, stuffy nose or nasal congestion, and consistent sneezing can turn out to be very bothersome for your newborn. Your doctor will ask you to describe the colour and texture of the discharge your baby experiences.
2. Throat-related symptoms:
They include frequent dry coughs that worsen during bedtime and a painful throat. You will experience your baby drooling more than usual due to increased saliva and difficulty in swallowing.
The average body temperature of babies and toddlers ranges from 97.9°F (36.6°C) to 99°F (37.2°C). One of the signs of the common cold is a consistent fever of 101-102°F or 38.3-38.9°C.
4. Changes in appetite:
Congested nose and difficulty in swallowing cause loss of appetite. Diet and appetite loss are usually short-term if no other underlying cause is diagnosed.
5. Changes in mood:
Babies and toddlers with the common cold often experience fatigues, lethargy, and a feeling of crankiness.
There is a difference between baby flu and the common cold. The baby flu is a more severe infection with the following symptoms:
- Blue lips and ear pain.
- Difficulty in breathing and constant wheezing.
- Loss of appetite and dehydration.
- Cough and fever (more than three weeks).
Try to seek urgent medical care if your toddler is facing such symptoms of baby flu.
5 CAUSES OF COMMON COLD IN BABIES
The common cold is a common infection of the upper respiratory tract (nose and throat). There are more than a hundred viruses that can infect us with the common cold and flu. Here are the five common cold causes:
1. Air transmission:
Your baby can catch a cold while playing with another kid or an adult who is coughing or sneezing without taking hygienic measures.
3. Contact transmission:
It is hard to hold their natural tendency to touch various surfaces and toys, then touch their face, nose, eyes, and mouth. It allows easy infection transmission and spread in the baby.
3. Transmission from contaminated surfaces:
Studies have shown that viruses tend to stay longer on a surface (2 hours or more) and transmit enough infected particles to make a baby sick within a few hours.
4. An environment with low precautionary measures:
People sneezing and coughing without taking proper measures are likely to transmit their germs to toddlers and newborns. Adults with a developed and functional immunity might not fall sick but can attack a baby with underdeveloped immunity.
5. Immature or an underdeveloped immunity:
Babies are most susceptible to contracting infections in their initial months. Before the age of 2, their immunity is insufficient to fight off common infections that adults simply can. With nearly 100 viruses capable of infecting, a considerably less number of them provides life-long immunity.
5 REMEDIES FOR COMMON COLD IN BABIES:
If you were wondering that adult cold medicines will work well on your baby, then let us break it to you that they will not. Consult your paediatrician before starting or stopping any dose of your child’s medication. You can try these five effective remedies for common colds in babies.
1. Suction Bulb:
Accumulation of mucus in the nose can cause nasal congestion. It can make the child drool more, and there can be a decrease in their appetite. Consult your doctor for the application of a suction bulb to relieve stuffy nose by extracting the mucus.
2. Use a humidifier:
Dryness in the environment, especially during the winter, can cause discomfort. You can opt for a cool-mist humidifier which helps in relieving nasal congestion and dry cough.
3. Body Hydrate:
The water turnover rate of an adult is around 18%, whereas that of a child is almost 40%-50%. Ensure that your baby is consuming a good amount of fluids and nutritious foods.
4. Saline nose drops:
Saline drops are over-the-counter (OTC) drops you can readily avail of at your nearby pharmacy. These drops relieve nasal congestion by loosening thick nasal mucus. You must learn to use them accurately or consult your doctor for the same.
Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are fever-reducing but not common cold relieving medicines. These medicines can relieve your baby’s symptoms but not the root cause. Doctors do not advise taking these medications if your baby is dehydrated or vomiting. Always take medication advice from your concerned doctor.
5 Ways To Prevent Your Little Ones From Cold
Do you also wonder what to do for common cold prevention? The only desired aspect of preventing your little ones from cold and flu is regularly disinfecting and sanitising.
1. Make distance from the illness:
Keep your child away from those who are sick. While your baby is under the age of 2 or 3, try to avoid public transportations.
2. Wash your and your baby’s hands regularly:
As an adult, you are immune to several infections, but your baby is not. Therefore, wash your hands with simple soap and water after doing all the chores, after coming home, taking delivery, and before you start feeding your baby.
3. Disinfect the household regularly:
You can decrease the risk of contaminated surfaces by cleaning the house regularly. One cannot stop a baby from touching their face regularly, but one can make a clean environment for them to play germs-free.
4. Clean your baby’s toys:
Cleaning regularly used toys and avoiding any sharing of toys can take you a step closer to common cold prevention.
Immunisations can help you prevent any major health complications in your child.
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