Chest colds in babies: Symptoms and remedies
How to tell if your infant is suffering from a chest cold, and how to treat it
When you baby has a chest cold, it can be a scary experience. As a mother, you may want to run out the door and straight to the doctor as soon as you hear your baby coughing. Although in some cases this is appropriate, many cases of chest colds in infants are not serious and can be treated naturally in your home. Read to find out if your baby’s symptoms indicate a chest cold, how to cure it, and how to know when to see a doctor.
The symptoms of a chest cold in a baby are quite similar to those of an adult.
- Runny nose
- Nasal congestion
- Lack of energy
There are some easy ways that you can remedy a chest cold in an infant.
1. Try a cool humidifier
Using a humidifier is great to help a baby cough up the gunk that he has in his lungs. It is better if it is a cool humidifier; cool moisture makes it a little easier to breathe than hot moisture.
2. Pat him on the back
Sometimes the baby needs a little bit of help coughing up the phlegm in his chest. Gently pat him on the back while he is coughing and it will be easier for him to expel what it is in there.
3. Use a baby vapor rub
If you have a vapor rub made especially for infants, spread it on his chest, and maybe a little bit on the tip of his nose. Make sure to test the vapor rub on a small area first to make sure your baby does not have an allergic reaction.
4. Use saline drops and a bulb syringe
Saline drops, or salt water drops, can help dissolve the mucus in your baby’s nose. Put a drop or two in your baby’s nose, and after a few minutes, use a syringe to remove the mucus.
Do not give an infant any type of cold or cough medicine unless your doctor says it is okay.
When to see a doctor
If your baby has a cough that does not go away within a few days, or has a high pitched cough, it is time to see a doctor – this could be a sign of croup. If your baby has a cough accompanied by any kind of fever, see a doctor as soon as possible.
What to do next
When your baby has a chest cold, it can be overwhelming and a little scary. But don’t worry – most chest colds are not serious and will go away on their own. However, if your baby has severe or long-lasting symptoms (or any symptom that seems abnormal to you) it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible to see if your baby requires further medical treatment.