Cold and Cough For Infant

Keep your baby safe from the cold by using this vaccine. It is advisable to take it during winter and in rainy seasons. Infants are at higher risk for sickness and illness than older children, babies and toddlers. Thermomix’s infant formula is specially made for infants 6+ months old who need extra nutrients, minerals and vitamins essential for the health development of your infant. It also accommodates your baby’s digestive system with SBS-LISS technology that produces a very smooth, easy to digest formula.

Best Antibiotic For Cold And Cough For Infant

If your child has a sore throat, cough, or runny nose, you might expect the doctor to prescribe antibiotics. But most of the time, children don’t need antibiotics to treat a respiratory illness. In fact, antibiotics can do more harm than good. Here’s why:

Antibiotics fight bacteria, not viruses.

If your child has a bacterial infection, antibiotics may help. But if your child has a virus, antibiotics will not help your child feel better or keep others from getting sick.

  • The common cold and flu are both viruses.
  • Chest colds are also usually caused by viruses.
  • Bronchiolitis is particular type of chest cold that often causes wheezing and can make young infants very sick. It is also caused by a virus.
  • Most sinus infections (sinusitis) are caused by viruses. The symptoms are a lot of mucus in the nose and post-nasal drip.
  • Mucus that is colored does not necessarily mean your child has a bacterial infection.

Antibiotics do not help treat viruses and some infections.

The flu is always caused by a virus. For these cases, antibiotics may be needed. There are special medications that can be used in some cases to fight the flu virus. Sometimes infants and children get bacterial infections on top of the flu. When a child has BOTH the flu and a bacterial infection, antibiotics may be needed.

Sometimes bacteria can cause sinus infections, but even then the infection usually clears up on its own in a week or so. Many common ear infections also clear up on their own without antibiotics.

Most sore throats are caused by viruses. But some sore throats, like strep throat, are bacterial infections. Symptoms include fever, redness, and trouble swallowing. Your doctor will decide if your child needs a strep test. If the test shows it is strep, then the doctor will prescribe antibiotics.

When does your child need antibiotics?

Your child MIGHT have a bacterial infection in these cases, and you should check with the doctor if these happen:

  • A cough does not get better in 14 days.
  • Symptoms of a sinus infection do not get better in 10 days, or they get better and then worse again.
  • Your child has a nasal discharge and a fever of at least 102° F for several days in a row, or nasal discharge and a headache that won’t go away.

Your child WILL need antibiotics in these cases:

  • If the child has a bacterial form of pneumonia.
  • Whooping cough (pertussis) is diagnosed.
  • Your child has strep throat, based on a rapid strep test or a throat culture.

REMEMBER: For infants younger than 3 months of age, call your pediatrician for any fever above 100.4° F. Very young infants can have serious infections that might need antibiotics and even might need to be put in the hospital.

Antibiotics have risks.

Side effects from antibiotics are a common reason that children go to the emergency room. The drugs can cause diarrhea or vomiting, and about 5 in 100 children have allergies to them. Some of these allergic reactions can be serious and life-threatening.

The misuse and overuse of antibiotics encourages bacteria to change, so that medicines don’t work as well to get rid of them. This is called “antibiotic resistance.” When bacteria are resistant to the medicines used to treat them, it’s easier for infections to spread from person to person. Antibiotic-resistant infections are also more expensive to treat and harder to cure.

When used incorrectly, antibiotics waste money.

Most antibiotics do not cost a lot. But money spent on medicines that are not needed is money wasted. In severe cases, infections that are resistant to antibiotics can cost thousands of dollars to treat.

What To Do For Infant Cold And Cough

In general, you don’t need to see the doctor if your older baby has a common cold. If you have questions or if your baby’s symptoms worsen or don’t go away, it might be time to see the doctor.

Your baby’s doctor can generally diagnose a common cold by your baby’s signs and symptoms. If your doctor suspects your baby has a bacterial infection or other condition, he or she may order a chest X-ray or other tests to exclude other causes of your baby’s symptoms.

Treatment

There’s no cure for the common cold. Most cases of the common cold get better without treatment, usually within a week to 10 days, but a cough may linger for a week or more. Antibiotics don’t work against cold viruses.

Try to make your baby more comfortable with measures such as making sure he or she drinks enough fluids, suctioning nasal mucus and keeping the air moist.

Over-the-counter (OTC) medications generally should be avoided in babies.

Fever-reducing medications

You can use OTC fever-reducing medications if a fever is making your child uncomfortable. However, these medications don’t kill the cold virus. Fever is a part of your child’s natural response to the virus, so it may help to allow your child to have a low-grade fever.

For treatment of fever or pain in children, consider giving your child infants’ or children’s over-the-counter fever and pain medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others). These are safer alternatives to aspirin.

For children younger than 3 months old, don’t give acetaminophen until your baby has been seen by a doctor. Don’t give ibuprofen to a child younger than 6 months old or to children who are vomiting constantly or are dehydrated. Use these medications for the shortest time. If you give your child a pain reliever, follow the dosing guidelines carefully. Call your doctor if you have questions about the right dosage for your baby.

Children and teenagers recovering from chickenpox or flu-like symptoms should never take aspirin. This is because aspirin has been linked to Reye’s syndrome, a rare but potentially life-threatening condition, in such children.

Cough and cold medications

Cough and cold medications aren’t safe for infants and young children. OTC cough and cold medicines don’t treat the underlying cause of a child’s cold and won’t make it go away sooner ⸺ and they can be dangerous to your baby. Cough and cold medications have potentially serious side effects, including fatal overdoses in children younger than 2 years old.

Don’t use over-the-counter medicines, except for fever reducers and pain relievers, to treat coughs and colds in children younger than 6 years old. Also consider avoiding use of these medicines for children younger than 12 years old.

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Lifestyle and home remedies

Most often, you can treat an older baby’s cold at home. To make your baby as comfortable as possible, try some of these suggestions:

  • Offer plenty of fluids. Liquids are important to avoid dehydration. Formula or breast milk is the best choice. Encourage your baby to take in the usual amount of fluids. Extra fluids aren’t necessary. If you’re breastfeeding your baby, keep it up. Breast milk offers extra protection from cold-causing germs.
  • Suction your baby’s nose. Keep your baby’s nasal passages clear with a rubber-bulb syringe. Squeeze the bulb syringe to expel the air. Then insert the tip of the bulb about 1/4 to 1/2 inch (about 6 to 12 millimeters) into your baby’s nostril, pointing toward the back and side of the nose.Release the bulb, holding it in place while it suctions the mucus from your baby’s nose. Remove the syringe from your baby’s nostril and empty the contents onto a tissue by squeezing the bulb rapidly while holding the tip down. Repeat as often as needed for each nostril. Clean the bulb syringe with soap and water.
  • Try nasal saline drops. Your baby’s doctor may recommend saline nasal drops to moisten nasal passages and loosen thick nasal mucus. Look for these OTC drops in your local pharmacy. Apply saline nasal drops, wait for a short period, and then use a suction bulb to draw mucus out of each nostril.
  • Moisten the air. Running a cool-water humidifier in your baby’s room can ease nasal congestion. Change the water daily and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning the unit.

Preparing for your appointment

If you need to see your baby’s pediatrician or family doctor, here’s some information to help you get ready for your baby’s appointment.

What you can do

Make a list of:

  • Symptoms you’ve noticed in your baby, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
  • Key personal information, such as whether your baby goes to child care or has otherwise been exposed to someone with a common cold. Include how many colds your baby has had, how long they lasted and whether your baby is exposed to secondhand smoke. It might help to make a note on your calendar the day you realize your baby has a cold.
  • All medications, vitamins or supplements your baby is taking, including dosages.
  • Questions to ask your doctor.

For a common cold, some questions to ask the doctor include:

  • What is likely causing my baby’s symptoms?
  • Are there other possible causes?
  • What tests are needed?
  • What’s the best course of action?
  • My baby has other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
  • Are there restrictions we need to follow?
  • Are there over-the-counter medications that aren’t safe for my child at this age?

Don’t hesitate to ask other questions you have.

What to expect from your doctor

Your baby’s doctor is likely to ask you questions, including:

  • When did your baby’s symptoms begin?
  • Have they been continuous or occasional?
  • How severe are they?
  • What, if anything, seems to improve them?
  • What, if anything, appears to worsen them?
  • Has the nasal congestion caused your baby to eat or drink less?
  • Is your baby having as many wet diapers as usual?
  • Has there been a fever? If so, how high?
  • Are your child’s vaccinations up to date?
  • Has your child taken antibiotics recently?

Your doctor will ask additional questions based on your responses and your baby’s symptoms and needs. Preparing and anticipating questions will help you make the most of your time with the doctor.

How To Reduce Cold And Cough For Infants

Is this your child’s symptom?

  • The sound made when the cough reflex clears the airway of irritants
  • Most coughs are part of a cold
  • A coughing fit or spell is over 5 minutes of nonstop coughing

Causes of Cough

  • Common Cold. Most coughs are part of a cold that includes the lower airway. The medical name is viral bronchitis. The bronchi are the lower part of the airway that go to the lungs. Bronchitis in children is always caused by a virus. This includes cold viruses, influenza and croup. Bacteria do not cause bronchitis in healthy children.
  • Air Pollution Cough. Fumes of any kind can irritate the airway and cause a cough. Tobacco smoke is the most common example. Others are auto exhaust, smog and paint fumes.
  • Serious Causes. Pneumonia, bronchiolitis, whooping cough and airway foreign object

Trouble Breathing: How to Tell

Trouble breathing is a reason to see a doctor right away. Respiratory distress is the medical name for trouble breathing. Here are symptoms to worry about:

  • Struggling for each breath or shortness of breath
  • Tight breathing so that your child can barely cry
  • Ribs are pulling in with each breath (called retractions)
  • Breathing has become noisy (such as wheezes)
  • Breathing is much faster than normal
  • Lips or face turn a blue color

When to Call for Cough (0-12 Months)

Call 911 Now

  • Severe trouble breathing (struggling for each breath, can barely cry)
  • Passed out or stopped breathing
  • Lips or face are bluish when not coughing
  • You think your child has a life-threatening emergency

Call Doctor or Seek Care Now

  • Trouble breathing, but not severe
  • Nonstop coughing spells
  • Lips or face have turned bluish during coughing
  • Harsh sound with breathing in (called stridor)
  • Wheezing (high-pitched purring or whistling sound during breathing out)
  • Breathing is much faster than normal
  • Weak immune system. Examples are sickle cell disease, HIV, cancer, organ transplant, taking oral steroids.
  • High-risk child (such as cystic fibrosis or other chronic lung disease)
  • Fever in baby less than 12 weeks old. Caution: Do NOT give your baby any fever medicine before being seen.
  • Fever over 104° F (40° C)
  • Your child looks or acts very sick
  • You think your child needs to be seen, and the problem is urgent

Contact Doctor Within 24 Hours

  • Age less than 6 months old
  • Earache or ear drainage
  • Fever lasts more than 3 days
  • Fever returns after gone for more than 24 hours
  • You think your child needs to be seen, but the problem is not urgent

Contact Doctor During Office Hours

  • Coughing causes vomiting 3 or more times
  • Runny nose lasts more than 14 days
  • Cough lasts more than 3 weeks
  • You have other questions or concerns

Self Care at Home

  • Cough with no other problems

Seattle Children’s Urgent Care Locations

If your child’s illness or injury is life-threatening, call 911.

Care Advice for a Cough

  1. What You Should Know About Coughs:
    • Most coughs are a normal part of a cold.
    • Coughing helps protect the lungs from pneumonia.
    • A cough can be a good thing. We don’t want to fully turn off your child’s ability to cough.
    • Here is some care advice that should help.
  2. Homemade Cough Medicine:
    • Goal: Decrease the irritation or tickle in the throat that causes a dry cough.
    • Age 3 months to 1 year: Give warm clear fluids to treat the cough. Examples are apple juice and lemonade. Amount: Use a dose of 1-3 teaspoons (5-15 ml). Give 4 times per day when coughing.
    • Caution: Do not use honey until 1 year old.
  3. Drugstore Medicines for Cough:
    • Cough Medicines. Don’t give any drugstore cold or cough medicines to young children. They are not approved by the FDA under 6 years. Reasons: not safe and can cause serious side effects. Also, they are not helpful. Reason: They can’t remove the tickle in the throat. They also can’t remove dried mucus from the nose. Nasal saline works best.
    • No Antibiotics. Antibiotics are not helpful for coughs. Antibiotics may be used if your child gets an ear or sinus infection.
  4. Coughing Fits or Spells – Warm Mist and Fluids:
    • Breathe warm mist, such as with shower running in a closed bathroom.
    • Give warm clear fluids to drink. Examples are apple juice and lemonade.
    • Age under 3 months. Don’t use warm fluids.
    • Age 3 – 12 months of age. Give 1 ounce (30 ml) each time. Limit to 4 times per day.
    • Reason: Both relax the airway and loosen up any phlegm.
  5. Vomiting from Hard Coughing:
    • For vomiting that occurs with hard coughing, give smaller amounts per feeding.
    • Also, feed more often.
    • Reason: Vomiting from coughing is more common with a full stomach.
  6. Humidifier:
    • If the air in your home is dry, use a humidifier. Reason: Dry air makes coughs worse.
  7. Fever Medicine:
    • For fevers above 102° F (39° C), give an acetaminophen product (such as Tylenol).
    • Another choice is an ibuprofen product (such as Advil). Caution: avoid ibuprofen until 6 months or older.
    • Note: Fevers less than 102° F (39° C) are important for fighting infections.
    • For all fevers: Keep your child well hydrated.
  8. Avoid Tobacco Smoke:
    • Tobacco smoke makes coughs much worse.
  9. Return to Child Care:
    • Your child can go back to child care after the fever is gone.
    • For practical purposes, the spread of coughs and colds cannot be prevented.
  10. What to Expect:
    • Viral coughs last for 2 to 3 weeks.
  11. Call Your Doctor If:
    • Trouble breathing occurs
    • Wheezing occurs
    • Cough lasts more than 3 weeks
    • You think your child needs to be seen
    • Your child becomes worse

And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the ‘Call Your Doctor’ symptoms.

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