Babies fall sick more often than not. Blessed are the parents who say their babies never fall prey to the common sniffles and colds. Touch wood.
As new parents, initially it used to break us down to see even 99 degrees on the Ticki-Ticki (That’s what we call our digital thermometer). We used to stop everything and visit the Paediatrician immediately even when the baby coughed a bit. The said Paediatrician never sent us back without prescribing some or the other medicine.
But then in a few months on, I started thinking if those medicines were really necessary. Mostly the diagnosis was always a common cold. Are there any medicines in the world to cure this? Virus cannot be killed with antibiotics. That’s common sense. Antibiotics are two-headed. They can kill the bad guys but also a few good men are also sacrificed. So it worries me if too many antibiotics could hamper the immune system.
So I decided no more cough syrups or cold medicines for the baby. No more Sinarest or T Minic drops, sir. A research suggests that no child under two year should be given any cold medicines, at all.
If we see, common medicines like Sinarest or T Minic drops only reduce the symptoms of a cold. So basically what they do is help the parents rather than the child as the child is still internally fighting the cold. It’s referred to as a Parental Placebo Effect!
Fever is something that might need medicines. But again now as I look at it, fever is good. It is an indication that the baby’s immune system is fighting against the infections and winning We hardly think of fever this way. It is really difficult though, when we see an infant suffer.
Also what is temperature at which we should consider medicines? What is the normal range? Or till what temperature can medicines be avoided. Well, I have fought tooth and nail with my overprotective husband over this. For him a 0.1 degree over 98.4 is a fever. I say 99 can be dealt with without medicines. Most suggest that a temperature below 100.4 degrees is no reason to panic for babies over 3 months.
A mantra that I liked about colds is “Feed the cold Fluids like it is going out of fashion”. It can be breast milk, formula or plain water or diluted juices according to age. More the infant drinks the faster the infection will go away.
If a fever persists for more than 2 hours, a fever reducer like Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen can be used. Again I am wary of Paracetamol for babies. (Very commonly used in India). Actually it is suggested that any fever below 102 degrees doesn’t need fever reducers. But I have panicked at 101 degrees. It is difficult.
Home remedies like steam inhalation, honey, warm milk with turmeric and a tiny bit of pepper are natural and very effective to reduce symptoms like congestion. Keeping the room humid in dry weather conditions helps a lot. The best remedy of course is a lot of snuggling and loving. Nothing beats that.
I am not a doctor. Nowhere near to be or suggesting to be one. Nor I am being a hypochondriac by doing a diagnosis on my own for my baby. I just simply follow a few directives to avoid over medicating my child’s body. Sadly, I don’t trust my paediatricians to do that for me. Right now, I have a paediatrician who is not too anti-biotic-happy but does prescribe cough syrups. But it is easy to skip the cough syrup part of the prescription and replace it with some homemade remedies. So I am sticking with him.
Obviously, all my theories would stop if anything more than a cold or fever happens. Then I would be at the mercy of the doctors. Most times, I also go to the doctor to rule out the more serious problems and once he says it’s a common cold, my own home remedies comes into play.
How do you commonly deal with common cold?
An erstwhile Quality Analyst, Sirisha Achanta, is now a full-time mommy to an adorable 2-year-old girl and a part-time writer. She loves to dance, dream and read a lot!