Cold in babies: what are the risks and how to treat

 Cold in babies: what are the risks and how to treat

Lena Fisher

For parents, there is nothing worse than seeing their children sick, but many "adult" diseases can also, unfortunately, affect the little ones. This is the case of colds in babies, which are more common than many people think. This happens because their immune system is not yet fully developed, making them more vulnerable to common diseases such as colds and flu.colds.

Proof of this is that children up to two years old get colds about six times a year, while in adults this number decreases to two or three times a year, and in the elderly it drops to only once a year. The good news is that the cold in babies should not be a reason for so much concern, unlike the flu, which must be treated quickly under the risk of evolving into more serious illnesses such aspneumonia, sinusitis, encephalitis, and even myocarditis, an inflammation in the heart area.

Read more: Cold, influenza or COVID-19? Learn to differentiate them

Is it a cold or a flu?

With similar symptoms, it is normal to have the doubt: is it the flu or the cold? First of all, it is worth saying that colds are much more frequent than the flu in babies. However, the flu is also common, especially in winter, when three out of every ten children are victims of some type of flu, such as Influenza A, B or C, easily transmitted from person to person. In the case of babies, forFor example, transmission in kindergartens or day care centers is common.

To know how to identify the difference between a cold and a flu in a baby, you must analyze the symptoms: the flu leaves the child more prostrated, with fever, nasal congestion, runny nose, and cough with secretion. A cold, on the other hand, generates runny nose, sneezing, dry cough, and the child generally does not lose his or her mood.

Read more: 6 tips to protect baby's skin in summer

Symptoms of cold in infants

Some of the most common cold symptoms include sore throat, runny nose, blocked nose, sneezing, dry cough, and fever of varying intensity, usually higher in children under five. Depending on the type of virus, diarrhea may also occur.

In babies who are still breastfeeding, other symptoms may appear, such as restlessness, crying, lack of appetite, vomiting, and difficulty sleeping and breathing caused by blocked noses. In older babies, headaches, muscle aches, and chills are also common.

Colds in babies are very short-lived, since the incubation period of the virus is less than two days, so the symptoms peak between one and three days after the infection and can last for seven to ten days, although some can persist for up to three weeks, and cases like these still fall within the normal range of a common cold.

Read more: Hand-foot-mouth disease: what it is, symptoms, transmission and treatment

How to treat cold in babies?

There is no effective antiviral to cure the cold in babies, so the treatment must focus on relieving the symptoms. Therefore, specialists suggest resting during the feverish period, constant hydration and hygiene and clearing the nose with medicines indicated for this purpose. It is also indicated to humidify the environment. In addition, the doctor may prescribe an antipyretic and aBy the way, here is some important information: never medicate your baby without the prescription of a specialist. Therefore, if the little one shows any sign of flu or cold, he must be referred to the doctor.

Read more: Vaccines for children: what are the main ones?

Cold in babies: how to prevent it?

Unlike the flu, there is still no vaccine to prevent the cold on the vaccination schedule of the Ministry of Health. Therefore, one way is to avoid its transmission, which is usually done through droplets of saliva from coughing and sneezing, and contact with contaminated hands.remaining for too long poses a risk and can be avoided, especially in periods when cases are on the rise.

Another way to prevent colds in babies is to consume breast milk, because its composition prevents 70% of infections in early childhood, thanks to the antibodies passed from mother to child. Check out other tips to prevent colds in babies:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly before touching the baby, picking him up, or touching his belongings.
  • Avoid letting your baby have contact with smokers, and don't let them smoke near them or pick them up after they have smoked.
  • Starting at 6 months of age, vaccinate your baby against the Influenza virus annually.
  • Avoid contact with people or children who have the flu.
  • Until six months of age, prefer exclusive breastfeeding.

Read more: How to organize your baby's sleep routine: Tips

Lena Fisher

Lena Fisher is a wellness enthusiast, certified nutritionist, and author of the popular health and well-being blog. With over a decade of experience in the field of nutrition and health coaching, Lena has dedicated her career to helping people achieve their optimal health and live their best life possible. Her passion for wellness has led her to explore various approaches to achieving overall health, including diet, exercise, and mindfulness practices. Lena's blog is a culmination of her years of research, experience, and personal journey towards finding balance and well-being. Her mission is to inspire and empower others to make positive changes in their lives and embrace a healthy lifestyle. When she's not writing or coaching clients, you can find Lena practicing yoga, hiking the trails, or experimenting with new healthy recipes in the kitchen.