Babies are more susceptible to catching a cold as their immune system is not fully developed. The common cold can cause a lot of discomforts and distress to your little one. You must know about the symptoms, how to treat a common cold, and when to visit a 24-hour ER near you.
What Is a Common Cold?
A common cold is a viral illness usually occurs in the upper respiratory tract. It is the most common illness in humans and is extremely contagious. It can be spread through sneezing, coughing, touching infected surfaces, or direct contact with an infected person. It usually lasts 2-4 days, can be mild to severe, and may result in complications such as earaches, sinus infections, bronchitis, pneumonia, and low-grade fevers.
How Long Do Colds Last for Newborns?
Most babies will have two to three colds a year in their first year. If your baby is coughing, they’re likely to cough up fluid or mucus to expel the virus. If your baby has a fever, they may suffer from dehydration. This can be serious if your baby has been vomiting or has diarrhea, and it is crucial to visit an emergency room for babies.
How Do Babies Catch a Cold?
The immune system recognizes and destroys foreign elements such as bacteria, viruses, and toxins. The immune system cells also recognize normal, healthy cells of the body and remove them. The immune system defends the body against harmful substances or organisms called pathogens. Babies’ immune systems are not fully developed until around two years of age. This developmental stage can be very complex and confusing for parents and caregivers. During this time, babies are especially vulnerable to the cold because their immune systems are not fully developed, and their airway is not fully mature. This period of vulnerability may last several months.
What Are the Common Symptoms of a Common Cold in Babies and Toddlers?
Common cold symptoms in babies and toddlers are very similar to those in adults, although some signs may be harder for parents to spot in babies and toddlers. Common cold symptoms in babies and toddlers include nasal congestion, headaches, and fever. Babies and toddlers cannot effectively fight off colds and may also have a higher fever than adults.
How Do Cold Symptoms Differ from Flu Symptoms or Some Other Illness?
Symptoms of colds and flu are similar, but there are some differences. Because of how the body works, a flu may last longer than the cold. Colds and flu can cause annoying symptoms, but flu usually cause more discomfort than colds. A baby may get cold without having the flu.
How Are Common Colds in Babies Treated?
The common cold treatment is giving them plenty of fluid and breastmilk. Also, keep them away from other babies, wash their hands frequently, and avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth with objects that have germs on them.
At home, keep the baby away from other people, especially other babies, until the cold is over. The most effective way to prevent colds in babies is to develop a healthy immune system and keep the airways clear of germs. It’s possible to reduce, but not eliminate, the risk of infections by:
- Washing hands before and after feeding
- Caring for the baby and changing diapers
- Covering nose with a facecloth or tissue when coughing or sneezing
Colds in newborns are usually mild and difficult to diagnose. If you think your baby may have a cold, call your pediatrician. Visit the Houston emergency room if the fever is over 102 degrees Fahrenheit.
When to See a Doctor?
Most colds in babies are mild and self-limited and don’t need medical attention. If your baby has a fever or other symptoms, such as severe cough, runny nose, or decreased activity, it may be necessary to seek emergency care.
Visit Memorial Heights Emergency Center for assistance if your baby has a fever, or the symptoms are not clearing.