“Cold”, also known as the common cold is one of the most common illnesses in every household. Cold-related allergies in kids, specially are caused by allergants. It’s possible to be allergic to many different types of things, including cold temperatures. And then, there are viruses which breed in low temperature. Infact, there are more than 200 different types of viruses which can trigger allergies. Though it can occur any time of the year, it intensifies during winters and seasonal change. As compared to adults, babies are more susceptible to cold because of their weaker immune system.
Difference between common cold and allergy:
While there is a difference between common cold and allergy, it is very difficult and tricky to distinguish between the two since the symptoms are pretty much the same. A cough, sneezing, runny nose accompanied by mild fever, low energy, refusal to drink or eat are some of the common symptoms by which you can identify if your kid has caught a cold.
Some of the main causes of cold are dust, pet hair, pollen, sudden changes in the weather, and mold. Usually, it takes 7-10 days to get cured completely but if it lingers more than a week then please contact the doctor.
How to treat cold-related allergies In kids:
For babies younger than one year, contact your doctor at once if you feel that your baby is in discomfort. Don’t try to give any kind of medicine on anybody’s advice unless prescribed by the doctor. Avoid medicine like aspirin to treat cold-related allergies in infants. These can lead to serious health complications. Instead, the best way to treat cold and cough would be to give steam. This loosens mucus and gives relief from stuffy nose. Another remedy to ease your baby from cold-related discomfort is to use saline and suction technique. This is a simple process wherein all you need to do is just squirt saline drops into your baby’s nostrils so that it helps in loosen up the mucus. Then suck out the mucus along with the saline water by gently inserting rubber bulb syringe. Repeat this procedure 15 minutes prior you feed your baby.
Maintain hygiene and sanitize your hands before picking up the child in your arms or before feeding. Moisten the air with the help of a humidifier or a cool mist vaporizer. Keep your baby hydrated by breastfeeding or top feeding. Breastfeed the baby for long hours because breast milk contains antibodies and helps in fighting virus and germs. Moreover breastfeeding babies are less likely to fall sick as compared to babies who have formula milk. Maintain distance from sick children and adults as it is contagious and can aggravate. Try to give your baby warm liquids like broth or soup as this will have a soothing effect.
If your child is a toddler try to teach him or her the technique of nose blow. This will help them to breathe more easily. Tell them that it is like smelling backward and also remember to tell them to do it gently. Doing it harshly can hurt the ears. You can also try honey based homemade remedies like honey and lemon juice in lukewarm water. Make them sip it once daily – this is a time-tested and proven remedy for treating cold.
For school going kids, you can teach them gargling with salt water twice daily as this cures a sore throat.
Please contact the doctor immediately if your child faces discomfort and cold persists for more than a week.
by Suditsha Sanyal