Parents always want to protect their children from harm, whether physically from a cold, or emotionally. We all know how awful having the common cold can be, and since there is no cure, we all know how unbearable it can be.
If you or someone in your house is sick with a cold, chances are, your baby is going to catch it. A cold is usually known as an upper respiratory infection caused by a virus. These viruses can be are usually spread through touch.
Along with touch, viruses can also be spread through the air when someone coughs or sneezes. Usually, you would have to be sitting or standing very close to someone in order to catch a cold this way. Catching a cold does not only depend on the type of virus, but it also depends on the person. Your age, gender and lifestyle also play a role on your body’s ability to fight off the virus.
Just because you do not show symptoms does not mean you do not have a cold. Most colds take time to develop, and you can actually spread a virus days before you show any symptoms. Once you have caught the cold, you can spread the virus up to five days later.
Can I Give My Baby My Cold? Answer: Yes.
The viruses that cause colds are separated into three differet types. The three types are known as rhinoviruses, coronaviruses and adenoviruses. In order to catch a cold, the virus needs to be ingested into the body. The virus then creates more viruses in your reproductive system. The cold symptoms you experience can be from the virus itself or from your body’s reaction to it. Once your body realizes the virus should not be in your body, it releases substances that helps it fight off the virus, but also cause fever, aches and fatigue.
While an adult can catch two to five colds a year, babies, on the other hand, average between six and ten per year. In families that have children in daycare or school, children can get up to twelve colds per year. This is because their immune system is not fully developed, therefore they are more vulnerable to catching a cold. As baby’s grow, they touch (and sometimes lick) everything, so it is very easy for them to catch a virus.
Worst Month for Colds
The fall and winter months make people more suseptible to disease, and you may notice your baby gets more colds during these seasons. This is because the cold air combined with the indoor heat dry out their nasal membranes. Dry nasal membranes make it easier for colds to attach in there. Viruses also tend to spread more often when indoors in the heat.
When you are sick, you should always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water. You should also wash your hands before preparing and eating food, after using the bathroom and after changing your baby’s diaper.
Since viruses can last on surfaces for a long time, it is best to use a disinfectant wipe or spray on the surfaces you and your family commonly touch. Also, do not share food, cups or utensils with your baby or other members of your household.
Symptoms of Common Colds
If your baby does catch your cold, the first symptom may be a runny nose. The runny nose generally has clear, water-like mucus. Over time, once the cold has spread, the mucus will turn green. They may also have a fever or cough. Unfortunately, there are not any medications available to cure the common cold, but you can keep them from becoming worse with plenty of sleep and fluids.
Since your baby cannot blow their nose, use saline and suction it out. You should also put petroleum jelly outside their nose to avoid irritation, and use a humidifier to keep the air from getting too dry. When sick, your child may sleep better in a car seat in the semi-upright position. While this is okay for small bursts of time, it is not recommended to allow your child to sleep this way overnight.
Over the Counter Meds
Do not give your child over-the-counter cold medicines. Most medicines have no effect on children younger than six. If a child is too young for medicine, it may have adverse side effects.
Remember, colds are contagious. If you or someone in your house is sick, wash your hands thoroughly and avoid sharing utensils and cups with your child. If your child does get sick, rest assured it will not last forever, and make sure they have plenty of fluids and sleep.
If you have any questions about your baby’s cold, it is best to consult their doctor. He or she will be able to answer your concerns more thoroughly.