On average, children can catch a cold three to eight times a year* so while your baby’s immune system is still developing they are likely to contract several colds.
How can my baby catch a cold?
- Babies can come into contact with viruses by putting contaminated toys into their mouths, which is something we know all babies love to do!
- Your baby can easily come into contact with other people who are carrying a cold virus and not have the mature immune system to fight it off.
The signs of a cold include:
- A runny or congested nose
- A clear nasal discharge that may become thicker and even turn green over the coming days
- After being thick, the discharge becomes runny and clear again
- When your baby develops a low grade temperature during the first 48 hours
- Sneezing, coughing, red and watery eyes
- A hoarse voice
Treating my baby’s cold
- keep him well hydrated with plenty of fluids
- keep her room at a regular temperature
- consider using an air purifier to remove pollutants and allergens that might be irritating your baby’s respiratory system
- keep your baby’s room at an even temperature (20-22 degrees)
- if your baby has a fever, you can treat with age appropriate anagesics to keep them comfortable
- heat a flannel with warm water and place over baby’s nose and cheeks (ensure airways are clear). This may help loosen some of the nasal congestion and soothe headaches
- Use a humidifier to moisten the air or sit in a steamy bathroom with your baby
- give lots of cuddles
When should I see a doctor?
- When your baby has temperature above 37.5ºC and is less than 3 months old
- If the symptoms of a cold persist for over a week
- Baby begins to wheeze or gasp for air
- If your baby begins to pull on his ears
- If you are at all concerned with the health of your baby, then check with your doctor
* Source: Colds in children – https://www.healthinfo.org.nz/patientinfo/150982.pdf