Common cold is simply an infection that affects the nose and respiratory tracts. More than 200 different viruses can cause a cold. Babies, in particular, are more vulnerable, because their immune systems are not completely developed. Most colds are not dangerous, and usually last only a week. Colds that last longer than a week should be treated by a health professional. A cold may lead to pneumonia or other serious illnesses, especially in babies younger than three months.
Children with a common cold may display one of the following symptoms:
- Runny nose
- Low-grade fever
- Watery eyes
There is no cure for the common cold. However, here are some ways you can help your baby feel better:
- Wash your hands regularly. Keep the baby’s toys, pillows, and bed clean.
- Let your baby drink plenty of water, juice, or other suitable liquids to keep your baby hydrated. Breastfeeding is the best option at this age, since human milk contains the necessary antibodies to fight infections.
- Clear the baby’s nasal passage with a rubber-bulb syringe.
- Keep the air in your baby’s room moist by running a humidifier or vaporizer.
- Doctors may suggest giving a medication such as acetaminophen to reduce discomfort to babies older than three months but always double-check dosage since the doctor will calculate on exact weight and age of your baby.
Call the doctor immediately in the following cases:
- When the cold symptoms persist for more than two weeks
- When the child displays symptoms such as wheezing, panting, or other breathing difficulties
- When the child complains of pain in the ears
- When a fever higher than 100F persists for more than three days
- When the sputum is tinged with blood