“Common” colds are very common in little ones. Most kids have six to nine viral infections
each year. To help you and your little one get through the germ-filled winter months which cause runny noses, cold viruses, coughs and colds, try these simple tips at home.
If your child has a stuffed-up nose, use a suction bulb to gently extract the excess mucus which can be uncomfortable for your baby and make it difficult for her to breathe. If her nose is crusty, use some over-the counter saline nose drops which will soften the mucus before suctioning.
Use a warm-mist humidifier in your child’s room to heighten the humidity. Moist air will reduce congestion and make breathing easier for her.
Raise the head of your child’s crib mattress by positioning a couple of pillows or other supports underneath it to make breathing easier.
Just a dab of petroleum jelly or other ointment (such as Aquaphor) under your baby’s nose will help prevent chapping and reddening of the skin. If your baby’s cheeks and chin have been rubbed raw you can dab a little ointment there as well.
Give your baby lots of fluids to replace those lost through fever or runny nose.
The common cold will go away on its own in a few days time. Here are some signs to look for to make sure your baby’s illness is not getting any worse:
*A fever that lasts more than two days or a sudden spike in temperature
*A cough that becomes productive or wheezy
*A thick, greenish-yellow nasal discharge develops and lasts more than one day
*Tugging on ears
*An out of sorts baby who seems downright cranky, unable to sleep for very long, or lethargic.
All of these symptoms indicate a secondary infection such as an ear infection or bronchitis. This is the time for professional medical treatment and an appointment with your pediatrician.