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How to treat cold in infants and children

Updated on July 9, 2011

Infant babies and cold

Cold can be caused by different types of viruses, and the body can never build up resistance to all of them. Children and adults are most likely to have colds during fall and winter, starting in late august or early september until March or April. Common cold is characterized by runny nose, congestion, sore throat and sneezing. Below you will find how to treat cold in infants and children.

Symptoms of common cold:

The usual symptoms of cold are running nose, sneezing, sore throat, temperature, chill, muscle aches, pain in the whole body, congestion, trouble breathing, watery eyes, mucus discharge and loss of appetite. Children may also get a yellow or green colored discharge during the first 2 to 3 days of the illness. Also the lining of the nose may become red and swollen.

Causes of cold in infants and children:

Some of the causes of cold in infants and children are viral or bacterial infection, weather change, smoking in front of kids and allergies. The most common virus is called the rhinovirus. Other viruses include the coronavirus, adenovirus, enterovirus, parainfluenza virus and respiratory syncytial virus.

Saline drops to relieve congestion in infants and children
Saline drops to relieve congestion in infants and children

Treatment for cold in infants and children:

1. Saline drops: Saline drops may help relieve congestion in infants. Saline drops makes it easier to breathe and allowing the baby to nurse or taking the bottle more comfortably. Saline gel is good for dry noses. Saline drops is one of the best remedy for colds in infants.

2. Breast milk: If you are b reastfeeding, continue to breastfeed, because it provides important antibodies and helps for fighting infection and strengthening your child's immune system.

3. Honey: Hot water drink mixed with honey is very soothing for excessive coughs and sneezing. Give a half teaspoon for children age 2 to 5, 1 teaspoon children 6 to 11 and 2 teaspoons children 12 and older. Never give honey for children under 1 year of age because of the risk of infant botulism.

4. Steaming: You can turn the hot water in the shower and sit with the baby ( over 6 months) for 10 minutes. Make sure the bathroom door is closed to keep the steam coming. After this process, use a nasal bulb syringe to suction secretions from baby's mouth.

Cool mist vaporizer to cure cold
Cool mist vaporizer to cure cold

 5. Humidifier: Use a humidifier or a cool mist vaporizer to increase mositure in your baby's bedroom. Cool mist humidifier helps to cure your baby's cold and congestion. Change the water everyday and clean according to the manual instructions.

6. Salt water: You can also try 8 ounce of warm water mixed with half teaspoon of salt to help relieve sore throat.

7. Fluids: Give plenty of fluids to your baby to help thin secretions and prevent dehydrations. Fluids can help wash out the toxins from the body. It also helps to relieve congestion. You can also give lime juice to older children. Vitamin c rich lime juice reduces the duration of your's child's illnes.

8. Sleep and rest: Taking plenty of sleep will allow your body to fight the illness more efficiently. Also it can shorten the time period of your child's cold.

9. Soups: Garlic soup is good to reduce the severity of cold. You can make garlic soup by boiling 2 cloves of garlic in half cup of water. After it cools, you can give this to your child.

10.Others: Do not give over the counter medicines under 6 years of age unless prescribed by your doctor.

Transmission of cold: Cold can be easily transmitted from preson to person either by direct contact or contact with virus in the environment.

Prevention of cold in babies and children:

  • Wash your hands frequently and make sure everyone in your home washes their hands frequetly.
  • Wash hands after contact with sick people.



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    • profile image

      Tizita 6 years ago

      Is Cold can be the cause of PHENOMINIA?

    • profile image

      aquamarine 6 years ago

      i personally believe medicines should be avoided to the maximum especially in case of babies. there are many home remedies with which we can control on cold and such symptoms too.

      Mere steaming will not help as to what i feel but yes it does make a huge difference though. I do have a blog where in share my experiences with my babies, remedies I found and little tips and tricks around the house.. Check it out and see for your self if it helps....

    • mama_em profile image

      mama_em 6 years ago

      We just had our first baby cold and the cool mist vapor combined with tilting the crib mattress up ever so slightly worked better than any medication. Great hub!

    • profile image

      mere 7 years ago

      i shoud try steaming this evening with my child...thank you.

    • cbris52 profile image

      cbris52 7 years ago

      Steaming seems to be a very useful alternative to drugs... Great Hub!

    • blessedmom profile image

      blessedmom 7 years ago from USA

      Thank you msorensson

    • msorensson profile image

      msorensson 7 years ago

      Steaming has been my favorite.

      I know all about drugs and as much as possible, I have prevented my son from taking them.

      Great hub, blessedmom