I have a 7 month old baby with a runny nose and he is congested. What can I do for him?

Common cold in babies may remain for few days to even longer period of time. It occurs due to viral infection or it may be a symptom of certain diseases. Congestion and runny nose are first signs of cold. It generally affects the upper respiratory tract due to few viruses. It happens due to handling of the baby by infected individual or child or with common things like toys, utensils, clothes that had been handled by infected person. It can spread through air whereby sneezing, spitting or coughing of an affected person can aggravate the disease.

The baby may suffer from mild fever, difficulty in breathing, lethargy, sneezing and coughing.

Certain preventive measures that can be applied for common cold are:-

  • Use of handkerchief for runny nose is essential for prevention of spread of infection. Cover the mouth of the baby with handkerchief while sneezing or coughing to prevent infection.
  • Continue breastfeeding the child as it can provide protection for the baby.
  • As far as possible, keep the room warm and cover the child properly with warm clothes and blanket to avoid aggravating the infection.
  • Certain natural decongestant drugs using ginger, basil leaves or inhalation of steam of mint oil and hot water can be beneficial for congestion.
  • Avoid solid foods and have more of liquid foods in the form of soups and juices and it is very easy to swallow and helps in flushing out the toxins from the system.
However, if there is high fever and heavy breathing accompanied with cough and bleeding while coughing is dangerous. In such condition, it is necessary to consult a doctor.

answered by J M

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