My son is 1 year old and from birth he is suffering from cold. His chest is congested and coughs a lot. Allopathic medicines are not helping even I have tried some home remedies but didn't help much. Please advice.

Babies, right from new born infants to toddlers suffer from "sniffles" and colds. A baby will be more susceptible to getting colds or sniffles during seasonal changes and in colder months. If a family member has a cold, then the child can get it easily through direct contact or even through contact with any contaminated objects.

Colds in kids: Several types of air-borne viruses cause colds. Rhinovirus is the most common type of cold virus. Infection can also occur from airborne particles from an infected person simply when the individual coughs, talks, breathes or sneezes nearby.

Symptoms of cold: Some of the symptoms of cold include -

  • Watery eyes
  • coughing and sneezing
  • A blocked nose
  • Runny nose with mucous
  • An increase in the body temperature
  • Unsettled or lethargic behavior
Since colds are caused by viruses, antibiotic medicines will not have much of an impact. In fact they could cause adverse effects. Generally, a cold lasts for two to ten days. But if your child has a fever or if the cough becomes persistent, then you must visit a doctor.


Reason for frequent colds: Infants and young children suffer from cold often because their immune system is not strong enough to combat these viruses. A baby is also more prone to infection because of an absence of any understanding of concepts like hygiene that we may take for granted. A baby for example would probably chew on almost any object, thus making him more prone to getting a cold through contact with contaminated surfaces.

The winter months can cause more colds in kids as the air becomes cold and the nasal membranes become dry, which makes it easier for viruses to get in.

Treatment: If you feel that your child is falling ill too often or has very high fever along with the cold, make sure he gets the required medical attention. Ask the doctor to recommend treatment options and discuss your concerns with him.

Home Remedies: You can also try some of these remedies to bring relief to your child if the condition is not chronic.

  • honey: You can mix some with warm water with ½ a teaspoon of honey and add a dash of lime for a vitamin-rich soothing mixture. Do not give your child more than ½ a teaspoon of honey. Also make sure that the honey you use is processed, as raw honey can cause botulism.
  • Bulb syringe: This is used to clean a blocked nose. You would need a rubber bulb syringe and salt water solution or saline nose drops. Learn the procedure from a health care professional before using it on your child.
  • Vapor rubs: Buy natural vapor rubs and massage it onto the child"s chest, throat and even forehead to bring relief from the congestion.
  • Some of the other home remedies include steam inhalation with a humidifier, extra fluids, and chicken soup. Make sure that the child rests a lot. Do not attempt to perform steam inhalation with a bowl of steaming water and a towel draped over, as this poses serious risk of severe burns to not just babies, but young children as well.

answered by M W

Warning: does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. see additional information
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