Babies that are sick won’t be able to verbalize their complaints. They can only cry, leaving parents guessing what is wrong and how to relieve the baby’s discomfort. Infants are one of the age groups that are prone to developing cough and colds.
Infants develop cough and colds because of their immature immune systems and because they have not had enough exposure to common viruses that causes colds or are not equipped to handle extremes in temperature which can result to cough.
Infants cannot care for themselves nor can they verbalize what they are feeling. Parents need to be observant and anticipate the needs of the baby especially when the baby begins to show signs and symptoms of cough and colds.
A cold is caused by a common virus and involves the baby’s upper respiratory tract. This affects the infant’s nose and throat. Parents may observe the following signs and symptoms if their baby develops a cold such as:
- Congested nose
- Runny nose
- Clear or yellow-green nasal discharge.
- Decreased appetite
- Difficulty sleeping
- Low grade fever
Infant Cold and Cough
Colds in infants that are left untreated often develop secondary infections such as cough. There are certain points that need to be considered when the baby shows signs of cough and colds. These include:
- The baby cannot blow his or her nose effectively.
- The baby cannot cough out phlegm in his or her lungs.
- The common complication of cough and colds include such conditions as bronchitis, pneumonia, or bronchopneumonia.
- Goal of treatment is in soothing the cough, relieving the congestion, and relieving the fever.
Infant Cold Remedies
Treatment for infants afflicted with the common cold and cough is palliative or supportive in nature. Goals include relieving congestion, soothing the cough, and relieving the fever. Common colds and uncomplicated cough often respond well to home remedies.
- Offer the baby plenty of fluids. Fluid will help liquefy the phlegm making it easy to suction out or cough out by the infant or even drain from the infant with postural drainage. For infants less than 6 months old, breast milk or infant milk formulas are best to give. For older babies, juice or water may be offered.
- Have a humidifier or vaporizer nearby to help soothe the baby’s nasal passages.
- Saline drops may be administered through the baby’s nostrils to help relieve sinus and nasal congestion in the baby.
- Use a bulb syringe to help suction out nasal discharges, allowing the baby to breathe easily.
- Feed the baby in small amounts and frequently since babies with colds have a hard time breathing through their noses.
- Do not place the baby flat on bed because this makes breathing, thus sleeping a lot harder for the baby.
- Give extra attention and care to a sick, young infant.
- Do not expose other kids or infants to the sick baby and vice versa.
- Treat the fever, if the baby develops a high temperature, with tepid sponge baths or the prescribed dose of anti-pyretics.
- Dress the baby in cool clothes when febrile but monitor the baby to avoid hypothermia or lowered body temperature.