In India, winters are already there. The decreased temperature and sudden changes in atmospheric pressure are actually fulfilling the two basic conditions for viral respiratory infections. In such a situation, children, especially newborns are at a higher risk of infection than adults due to the incompletely developed immune system. Here is all you need to know about cold and flu in babies.
Before the solutions, we need to understand the basics of this infection.
1What is cold or flu?
I believe, we all know that these kind of viral respiratory infections are very contagious. Basically, cold and flu have several common features. For example, both of these are produced by viruses, both are manifested by a cough, sore throat, nasal obstruction, and nasal discharge (rhinorrhea).
Influenza is produced by influenza viruses and this normally occurs during winters. Whereas, cold can occur at any time of the year but more often in winters.
There is a major difference between influenza and cold and that is the severity of general symptoms like a high fever that can last for 3-5 days, chills, impaired general health, fatigue, headache, and in some cases, muscle pain as well. In worst conditions, influenza can lead to pneumonia.
In case of influenza, it can be prevented by vaccination. As influenza occurs especially during the cold season, therefore, vaccination for the same should be given before the season starts. For the best health of the child, you must contact a doctor and you must not give any medication without a medical prescription.
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I have seen a lot of parents giving paracetamol drops, nasal sprays, and nebulization as well. But, there is no doubt that only a doctor can prescribe the right medicine and dosage after checking your baby’s health.
Do not forget that cold and flu are produced by viruses, antibiotics are not the right solution because antibiotics are not effective in a viral infection.
3What Can Be Done To Prevent Children From Winter Diseases
- In case of infants below six months, the best you can do is – on time vaccination and keep them as warm as possible.
- In case, any of the family members are suffering from such infection, keep them at a fair distance from children. Otherwise, there are good chances that your baby is going to get infected. Do keep in mind that as their immune system is yet not developed, so they are more prone to infection.
- Like adults, the babies need a good sleep. So, make sure they have a comfortable sleep.
- In case of babies that are already on solid and semi-solid meals, a balanced diet is the best solution. Offer them a balanced and healthy diet that is rich in vitamins, contain vegetables and fruits.
- You can give them vitamins-rich drinks such as natural juices from fresh fruits like oranges, mandarins, kiwis, berries, etc. The best are blueberries that are known as a natural antibiotic.
- Be very careful about the things your children are playing with. You must not make any compromise when it is about the hygiene.
- Pediatricians always recommend flu vaccines. However, most of the parents believe these vaccinations are useless and not necessary at all. But, there is no harm in having this vaccine.
- At the same time, over-protection is also not recommended. In order to strengthen the immune system of the baby, you need to take your baby for a walk, at the right hours.
- Do not overlook the importance of winter clothing. Children should wear warm clothing like gloves, scarfs covering their neck, and the caps for their heads.
- In winter, if your baby is above old enough, give them drinks that can keep them warm like soup etc. especially when they come from outside, from cold.
Again, I would highly not recommend any medication without pediatrician‘s advice. In case, you see any signs of cold or flu (chest blockage, cough, sore throat, nasal obstruction, nasal discharge, fever), please visit a pediatrician before things get worst.