At 24/7 Pediatric Care Centers, we’ve found one of the biggest challenges for parents is dealing with a baby with a cold. Babies may come down with colds multiple times in their first year, so we like to keep our parents informed of what to expect during their baby’s illness.
First, colds are caused by viruses and so are unresponsive to antibiotics. Cold weather is not a cause for colds; they may occur any time during the year. Direct exposure to a sick person at home or in day care is the most likely cause for the spread of colds.
Here are five things you can do to care for your baby with a cold.
- At 24/7 Pediatric Care Centers, we agree with the American Academy of Pediatrics that babies and children under the age of 2 years should not be given over-the-counter cold remedies. Avoid giving the baby any medicines without your pediatrician’s direction.
- Use simple home remedies to make your baby more comfortable.
- For stuffy noses and chest congestion: Use salt water (saline) nose drops to thin the mucus and then use a bulb syringe or nasal aspirator to suction the mucus. Run a cool-mist vaporizer in the baby’s room.
- For fever: Give acetaminophen (Tylenol) for babies 3 to 6 months old.
- Encourage your baby to take plenty of liquids. This would include breast feeding, and formula or water if bottle feeding.
- Keep the baby’s room at a comfortable temperature. Dress the baby in light sleepers and only use blankets if the room temperature is typically cool.
- Contact us at 24/7 Pediatric Care Centers if your baby exhibits any of these signs and symptoms:
- Temperature over 100.4 degree if three months old or younger; temperature 102 degrees or higher in an older baby
- Baby is either unusually drowsy or unusually irritable
- Coughing that leads to vomiting or lasts more than 72 hours
- Breathing that seems labored or sounds unusually loud while sleeping
- Cold that persists for longer than a week
Remember that 24/7 Pediatric Care Centers is open around the clock, so you can rest assured there is always someone you can talk to by phone. Do not hesitate to call if you have questions. We’ll be happy to advise you as the cold takes its course and your baby is back to health.