Sabtu, 20 November 2010

Babies and the common cold

Do you feel as if you're constantly wiping your baby's nose? You probably are! The common cold strikes most healthy babies at some point — often repeatedly. Most colds last a week or two, but some linger even longer. In the meantime, there's plenty you can do to help your baby beat the common cold.
Your baby's immune system will need time to conquer the cold. Since colds are caused by viruses, antibiotics won't help. If your baby is younger than age 3 months, call the doctor at the first sign of illness. For newborns, a common cold can quickly develop into croup, pneumonia or another serious illness.

When the common cold becomes something more serious

Most colds are simply a nuisance. But it's important to take your baby's signs and symptoms seriously. Again, call the doctor at the first sign of illness if your baby is younger than age 3 months. If your baby is age 3 months or older, call the doctor if he or she:
  • Isn't wetting as many diapers as usual
  • Has a temperature higher than 103 F for one day
  • Has a temperature higher than 100 F for more than three days
  • Seems to have ear or sinus pain
  • Has yellow eye discharge
  • Has a cough for more than one week
  • Has thick, green nasal discharge for more than two weeks
  • Has any signs or symptoms that worry you
Seek medical help immediately if your baby:
  • Refuses to nurse or accept fluids
  • Coughs hard enough to cause vomiting or changes in skin color
  • Coughs up blood-tinged sputum
  • Has difficulty breathing or is bluish around the lips and mouth
The common cold typically spreads through infected respiratory droplets coughed or sneezed into the air. The best defense? Common sense and plenty of soap and water.
  • Keep your baby away from anyone who's sick, especially during the first few days of illness. If you have a newborn, don't allow visits from anyone who's sick. If possible, avoid public transportation with your newborn.
  • Wash your hands before feeding or caring for your baby. When soap and water aren't available, use hand wipes or gels that contain germ-killing alcohol.
  • Clean your baby's toys and pacifiers often.
  • Teach everyone in the household to cough or sneeze into a tissue — and then toss it. If you can't reach a tissue in time, cough or sneeze into the crook of your arm.

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