Common Cold in Babies

The common cold is not a very serious disease as far as adults and children older than six months are concerned. Children get cold more often than adults. It is common and absolutely normal for a child to have 6 to 8 colds a year.

The common cold is generally a viral infection that afflicts a person’s nose and throat. Small children get cold easily because their immune system is yet to mature. Children generally have plenty of sources to catch the infection.

The children who go to a child care center are especially susceptible to catching a cold. This is because they come in contact with many children and more often than not at least one of them is having the virus. The spread of viral infection becomes a very easy process in that case. Small children also have the habit of touching their nose and mouth quite frequently which makes the process of getting the infection even easier.

Cold in infants is a usual happening. The casual viruses of big cold can be in the air for hard surfaces for a certain amount of time. They catch me virus while an adult holds them or even when he or she visits the pediatrician.

SYMPTOMS

The symptoms of a cold in a newborn baby are quite similar to those in an adult. The first and most obvious sign of the onset of this disease is a stuffed or runny nose. The discharge through the nose may be thin, clear, and water-like in the beginning. This discharge changes its color to yellowish-green and the consistency also becomes thicker in the later phase of the disease. These signs are normal and there is nothing to be worried about.

Some other symptoms of common cold include- fuzziness, fever, sneezing, reduced appetite, trouble while falling asleep or staying asleep, coughing particularly at night, or having difficulty in breastfeeding or taking a bottle due to a stuffy nose.

COMPLICATIONS

Since the immune system of the baby is not strong enough yet, sometimes what appears to be a common cold can be something more serious. symptoms of cold are similar to some other diseases and this is what makes it difficult for the parents to decide and come to a conclusion. If the situation arises, you should feel free to contact your child’s pediatrician. After all, this is what they are there for- to assist you when you go clueless regarding a matter relating to your baby.

Some common diseases that have symptoms and characteristics similar to that of the common cold are discussed below in the article-

Flu:- if your baby is having chills, is vomiting or there is a significant increase in the number of dirty diapers, along with the general symptoms of cold, chances are that your baby is suffering from flu. There are other symptoms like headache, muscle or body ache, or sorry throat but it is not easy to comprehend such symptoms in a small baby who cannot speak yet.

Pneumonia:-  Pneumonia is generally explained as a more severe version of the common cold. Sometimes, if the baby is not cared for properly during a common cold it gets transformed into pneumonia. Symptoms of pneumonia include- chills, sweating, high fever, worsening cough, rapid or troubled breathing, or shakes. Non-apparent symptoms include abdominal pain or sensitivity.

Croup

Along with the general symptoms of common cold, why suffering from croup, the baby shows a lot more disturbance in breathing and coughing becomes much louder.

Bronchiolitis

Being caused by RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus), bronchiolitis is one of the most common causes of hospitalization of infants. this respiratory infection can affect people of all ages but since the airway of a baby is not fully developed it is a lot more dangerous in the case of the babies. This inflammatory respiratory condition attacks the smallest air passages in the lungs called bronchioles, hence the name bronchiolitis.

PREVENTION

Though it is common and from what normal for a baby to catch a cold once in a while, there are precautionary measures that can be taken to avoid and prevent the infection.

Hygienic distance-  keeping your baby away from people who are sick is a no brainer. you should maintain a safe distance from the people outside if you necessarily have to step out of the house with the baby.

Sanitization- even the family members should be told to wash or sanitize hands before they touch the baby’s hand or face.

Breastfeeding- it is proven that the immunity of a baby who is being breastfed is stronger than a baby who is given outside food. There are certain essential amino acids that are found only in breast milk. Breastfeeding specially built the immunity of the baby against diseases that the mother has suffered or has been exposed to. The immunity is said to be transferred through the breast milk from the mother to the baby. However, it does not mean that the baby feeding on breast milk will not catch a cold at all.

cold alone is not something to be worried about but it can transform into something worrisome. Therefore, it is important to keep in touch with a pediatrician and make sure that the baby gets regular checkups.