Why does my baby get so many colds?
One reason that babies get a lot of colds is that their immune systems are immature, making them more susceptible to disease. In addition, more than 200 different viruses cause the acute rhinitis and your child is developing immunity to them one at a time. Think about all the colds you’ve had in your life time. Your baby would need to get all of those– and more– to be unsusceptible to all cold viruses.
As your baby grows, he’s likely to be checking out a lot and touching (and licking!) everything, so it’s simple for him to get a cold virus on his hands. Then all he needs to do is put his fingers in his mouth or nose or rub his eyes, and the virus will get an opportunity to set up shop.
Your baby might get sick regularly during the fall and cold weather due to the fact that cold air and indoor heating dry his nasal membranes, making it easier for a cold virus to obtain a grip there. He also spends more time during cold weather cooped up inside your home, where infections can spread more easily from someone to another.
Many children average between six and 10 colds each year. In families with children in day care or school, the number of colds can reach 12 annually!
The average adult gets two to 4 colds each year.
How can I tell if my baby has a cold – not the influenza, some other disease, or allergies?
It can be difficult. If your baby has a cold, she might have a runny nose with clear mucus that may thicken and turn gray or yellow or green over the next week approximately. She might have a cough or a low-grade fever.
If your baby is running a fever, see her when her fever comes down. If she plays and consumes normally (or nearly generally– she might eat a bit less and drag a little), then it’s most likely a cold. If she acts ill even when her temperature drops, though, she may have something more major than a cold.
Also, an influenza or other illness is more likely to have an abrupt start, and is more likely to be accompanied by diarrhea or vomiting. On the other hand, if blockage or coughing shows up prior to any fever, it’s more likely that your child has a cold.
Itchy, watery eyes and nose are hallmarks of an allergic reaction, as are duplicated sneezing attacks and itchy skin that lasts for weeks or months. Also, the mucus coming out of your baby’s nose will continue to run clear, rather than thickening and turning yellow or green as it tends to in children with colds. Allergic reactions won’t cause your child to run a fever.
Baby cold solutions to assist alleviate symptoms
No medicine will make an infection go away faster, however you can help your baby feel better and prevent the infection from worsening by making certain he gets lots of rest and liquids. For babies under 4 months, that means breast milk or formula. At 4 months your baby can also have a little water, and at 6 months he can start drinking juices.
Given that many children cannot master nose blowing up until about age 4, here are a couple of ways to help ease your baby’s blockage.
- Use saline and suction. Pointer your baby’s head back and capture over-the-counter saline (seawater) drops into his nostrils to chill out the mucus. Then suction out the liquid and mucus a couple of minutes later on with a rubber bulb syringe or nasal aspirator.
- If your baby is having trouble nursing with a stuffy nose, try this tactic about 15 minutes before a feeding. He’ll then have the ability to breathe and suck at the same time.
- Apply petroleum jelly to the outside of your baby’s nostrils to decrease inflammation. (Don’t use nasal sprays on your baby unless his doctor states it’s alright. They may work briefly but can cause a rebound effect, making the blockage worse with continued use.).
- Moisten the air. Use a humidifier or a cool-mist vaporizer to dampen the air in your baby’s room. Or take your baby into the bathroom with you, switch on the warm water, close the door, and sit in the steamy space for about 15 minutes. A warm bath can achieve the exact same thing.
Baby cold remedies to avoid
- You may be tempted to let your baby sleep propped up in a car seat, however experts don’t recommend letting a baby sleep for extended periods in a safety seat, bouncy seat, or swing– even strapped in. These items might have padding or inserts that pose a suffocation risk, and the baby could move enough to flip a safety seat over when it’s not set up in a car.
- Don’t use a pillow or a sleep positioner to prop up your baby considering that it might cause your baby to suffocate.
- Do not put anything under the legs of the crib to prop it up because that could make it unstable.
Is it safe to give my baby non-prescription (OTC) cough and cold medication?
A lot of experts state no. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises doctors to tell their patients that OTC cough and cold medications aren’t effective in children below 6 and can often have hazardous side effects. You may want to ask your child’s doctor what he recommends.
Bear in mind that cough and cold medications won’t reduce the course of your child’s cold or avoid further complications such as ear infections or sinus infections.
If your baby is feverish, ask your doctor about providing her infant acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
Never ever give your baby aspirin as it makes her more prone to Reye’s syndrome, a rare but potentially fatal disease.
What natural or alternative treatments can help eliminate my baby’s cold symptoms?
Adding a few drops of menthol, eucalyptus, or pine oil to a vaporizer or bath might help your baby feel less congested, states Kathi Kemper, teacher of pediatrics, public health sciences, and family medication at Wake Forest University School of Medicine and author of The Holistic Pediatrician. (You can get these oils at a lot of natural food stores.) If your baby is at least 6 months old, a weak, lukewarm option of chamomile tea can likewise be relaxing.
For more safe ways to soothe your baby’s symptoms, see our short article on home remedies that truly help.
A word of warning: Never use the Chinese herb ma huang, likewise known as ephedra or ephedrine, a herbal decongestant. Its effectiveness can vary commonly, and the Food and Drug Administration has linked it to bad reactions in adults, including hypertension, irregular heartbeat, seizures, cardiac arrest, and stroke. Constantly talk with your doctor prior to providing your baby any type of medication, traditional or otherwise.
When should I call the doctor about my baby’s cold?
If your child is younger than 3 months, you must call the doctor at the first sign of illness, especially if your baby has a fever greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (taken rectally) or a cough.
If your baby is in between 3 and 6 months, the doctor may want you to call if her temperature level reaches 101 degrees F, and if she’s over 6 months, 103 degrees F. (Ask your baby’s doctor for her guidelines.)
No matter what your baby’s age, call if you notice any of the following:
- Any fever that lasts more than two days.
- A worsening cough, fast breathing (more than 60 breaths a minute), wheezing, or gasping. These symptoms might be a sign of pneumonia or respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a reasonably typical but potentially severe respiratory disease in infants under age 1.
- Pulling or rubbing her ear, sobbing when sucking during a feeding, or weeping uncharacteristically when being put to bed, all which suggest an ear infection.
- Goopy or tearing eyes, which might be a sign of pinkeye.
- Severe fussiness, unusual drowsiness, or a substantial modification in feeding or sleeping habits.
- Your baby takes a turn for the even worse instead of starting to enhance after five to seven days, or her cold symptoms last for more than 14 days.
What can I do to minimize the number of colds my baby gets?
You can’t avoid every cold, but there are things you can do to reduce your baby’s direct exposure and increase his defenses:
- Hand cleaning. Make sure relative and buddies clean their hands prior to picking up your baby (this is especially crucial around babies, who are a lot more prone to disease than 1- or 2-month-old infants). Likewise, infants in day care get more colds than those kept at home simply because they’re exposed to more kids and, for this reason, more germs, so make sure your child care provider is diligent about washing her hands. And make sure you clean up, too– specifically after altering diapers and prior to preparing food.
- Avoid sick people. To the degree you can, keep your baby far from sick children or adults. They’ll comprehend if you ask them to postpone a check out up until they’re not contagious.
- Keep your baby hydrated. Once again, for babies under 4 months this implies ensuring they continue their normal breast- or formula-feeding routine. After that age, you can offer your baby a little water as well, and at 6 months you can introduce your baby to juice. If your baby is hydrated, he should be moistening at least 5 or six diapers a day.
- Breastfeed for as long as you can. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for a year to reap the health benefits of breast milk. Although it’s not a sure defend against infection, research studies have shown that breastfed children get ill less frequently than their formula-fed peers because the antibodies in breast milk safeguard against a host of bacteria.