Source for banner image: huffingtonpost.co.uk
Colds are very common. And you must know that:-
1. No antibiotic helps in common cold because it is a viral infection
2. Drugs containing phenylpropanolamine and antihistamines (anti-allergy medicines) are harmful in common cold.
3. Opening of the nasal passage is all that is needed if the nose gets blocked.
Accept Cold as an Unavoidable Nuisance
Many different viruses (over 200) can give rise to colds. In infants below 2 months, the cold may, more rarely, be due to a bacterial infection. The baby may also have high fever. Such infants may need antibiotics.
Typically, the cough due to a cold is noticed during sleep. If the child is lying on the back, the watery discharge from the back of the nose drips down the throats. Nature does not want this stuff to go into the windpipe and a protective mechanism makes the child cough with the post-nasal drip. Such a child will sleep better on the stomach (however, making a small infant sleep on the stomach is not considered safe).
Taking Care of a Blocked Nose
If the nose appears blocked, use nose drops suggested by your doctor. To use these drops effectively, let your child lie down. Put 2 drops into the right nostril. Let the head be turned to the same side and keep there for about a minute.
Then repeat the same procedure for the other side. Petroleum jelly or baby cream may be applied to the outer edge of nostrils chapped by repeated blowing and wiping.
Children who eat chicken may be given hot chicken soup to sip. It has also been found helpful in clearing nasal mucus, as compared to sipping hot water.
Use of Antihistamines
Some doctors use antihistamines to dry up secretions. This is not advisable. The watery secretions are helping the virus to get out (as in a case of diarrhea). So we should not act against nature's helpful mechanism.
When do You Need Antibiotics for a Cold?
If your child or infant has persistent thick, yellow or green discharge from the nose, he may need an antibiotic. But remember that before your child recovers from a cold, the thin nasal discharge often normally becomes thick, green or yellow. This does not require antibiotics. It is the persistent discharge that needs attention. Let your doctor decide about the use of antibiotics.
If your child has a persistent discharge from one side of the nose, then also your doctor, especially if the discharge is foul smelling or mixed with blood. It may be due to a foreign body or due to a rare condition like diphtheria.
Source: Book - Guide to Child Care by Dr R K Anand
To consult Dr R K Anand in person, click here
Also read more about: 15 natural remedies to treat your little one's cold and cough, Immunity of children against cold and cough, What no one ever told you about your child's cough?, Why you must opt for steam for you and your child?