Cold in kids
A simple cold or common cold in children is commonly used by a viral infection of the nose or throat. Your baby might catch a cold several times a year in the early years of childhood. This is because the immune system is yet to mature and develop immunity against various viruses.
Common cold in babies usually presents with:
- Stuffy nose causes difficulty in breast feeding or bottle feeding.
- Runny nose with a clear discharge initially that later becomes thick, and may turn yellow or green.
- Sneezing, coughing and fever might be present in few cases.
- Irritability with difficulty in sleeping is common because of blocked nose.
These symptoms take around 10 to 14 days and are responsible for maximum doctor’s visits by the parents.
In India, a dadima ki potli or a home remedy for colds is frequently used for getting relief from discomforting symptoms especially in children.
Treating cold in babies
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned against the use of medicines for treating cold in children below 6 years because for their harmful effects on a child’s health. As antibiotics do not cure a common cold, other measures should be taken to comfort the baby from distressing symptoms. Your pediatrician will suggest some simple measures and home remedies for a cold and stuffy nose that can help in relieving the discomfort of your baby. Here is a list of home remedies for cold in babies that are safe to use in giving relief.
Home remedies for cold nose block for all young children (infants and toddlers) include:
- Rest-child should take adequate rest. Body energy is used up to fight the infection. Hence, a lot of rest is necessary to restore normal health of your child.
- Hydration-ensure your child drink lots of fluids to prevent dehydration. Hydration with fluids helps in thinning the secretions and helps in flushing them out of the body. Continue breast feeding in babies that are fed exclusively on mother’s milk. Bottle fed babies can be given an additional amount of milk formula along with the routine schedule. Toddlers can be given extra fluids in the form of juices, soups, etc.
- Inhaling steam helps in reducing congestion in the nasal passages. Humidifiers can be used to keep the air moist inside the house. Alternately, take the baby for 10 to 15 minutes inside a closed bathroom that has been pre-humidified by running a hot shower for few minutes.
- Saline nasal drops (homemade and readymade) are helpful in getting rid of a stuffy nose. They reduce the congestion inside the nose and decreases breathing discomfort. They can be used at frequent intervals without any harmful effects.
- Use of rubber bulb syringe is another method to clear off the secretions in nasal passages. It is very useful especially in babies and infants below 2 years who have not yet learnt to blow their nose.
- Massage with mustard oil mixed with garlic on the chest, back, neck, palms and feet is a great home remedy for cold for babies below 2 years.
Home remedies for cold in children 6 months and above
- Home remedies for cold for 6 months baby includes consuming warm fluids such as warm water, chicken soup, vegetable soups etc. These help in decreasing congestion and have a soothing effect.
- Home remedies for cold for 1 year baby and above involves use of honey. Honey has a soothing effect on throat irritation and enables better sleep. Honey can be given to young babies two to three times in day and honey mixed with tulsi or cinnamon powder can be given to kids above 5 years.
- Home remedies for cold and cough for 2 year old and above consists of training the child to blow the nose. Blowing nose from one nostril at a time and alternately closing the other helps in preventing ear infections. Washing hands with soap and water is a very important lesson that should be stressed on while training the child for nose blowing.
- Sips of boiled water with tulsi and ajwain helps in controlling cough.
- Home remedies for cough and cold in 5 year old and above.
- Use of neti pot (metal or ceramic pot that looks like a small watering can) is helpful in flushing out the excess of accumulated secretions from nose and keeping the nasal passages moist.
- Salt water gargles are effective home remedies for cough and sore throat.
- Older children can also be given ginger tea or honey mixed with lemon and ginger extract for reducing the symptoms of cold.
- Turmeric powder mixed in hot milk helps in preventing additional bacterial infections in common cold.
Home remedies only help in relieving the symptoms and do not cure. Though antibiotics do not play a role in the treatment of common cold, they should be used under a doctor’s guidance when complications arise. For e.g. ear infection, pneumonia, other bacterial infections etc.
Source of banner image: US News Health
Disclaimer: The information in the article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor.
Also read – 15 natural remedies to treat your little one’s cold and cough
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