Cold and flu are the two most common viral infections affecting children. Unfortunately there isn't any cure for common cold and influenza since most antibiotics doesn't have any effect on these viruses. As a parent the best you can do is make your baby feel comfortable by ensuring they get enough rest and drink plenty of fluids. In this article we are going to discuss a few easy ways to deal with viral infections like cold and flu.
Relieving A Stuffy Nose
• For infants a rubber suction bulb can be used for sucking drainage from the nasal passages. Your child will breathe a lot more freely when the clogged mucus is sucked out from the nose.
• Using 1-2 saline drops (saltwater) for each nostril greatly helps in alleviating congested nose.
• Place a cool-mist vaporizer or humidifier in the room of your kid to keep their nasal secretion from drying up. The humidifier would provide the extra moisture which would make your baby more comfortable.
• Give your child a teaspoon of honey at bedtime for treating cough. However, if your child is below 1 year then honey is not at all recommended.
• If your child is 4 years or older then you can give them cough lozenges or cough drops.
• If your child is extremely uncomfortable because of a high fever a dose of ibuprofen can help bring the fever down. Be careful to never give any medications to children under 2 years without consulting your paediatrician. Although Ibuprofen can be given to children above the age of 6 months, its' always better not to take any risks. Don't give Ibuprofen to a child who is vomiting or dehydrated.
Treatment And Prevention
• Children above the age of 6 months need to go for a flu vaccine every year. Children below the age of 6 months are too young to be given a flu vaccine so proper care should be taken to check that the people around them are not infected.
• Never give your baby (under 4 years of age) over the counter cough and cold medications since most of them come with serious side effects. In case antibiotics are prescribed by the paediatrician then ensure that your child takes them exactly as prescribed. Continue giving the medicines even after they get better. If you suddenly stop the antibiotics then the virus gets immune and might start spreading in the body.
Last but not least, if the symptoms of influenza or cold last for more than 3 days, make an appointment with your doctor to get a proper diagnosis and treatment.
by Juanita Swindell