Information about only the most common problems that you may face is given in this section. If you do not find the information you require or need additional information please chat with our doctor or consult your pediatrician.
Cough & Cold...
Coughs and colds are a frequent worry for the parents of children in this group. A few key points to remember are given below.
- Colds are Acute URTI [upper respiratory tract infections] caused by a group of viruses. They are transmitted by air when an infected person coughs/sneezes or by hand contact.
- Anyone who is ill in the family should avoid contact with the baby. Always wash your hands before handling the baby.
- Signs are cough, running nose, red eyes, discomfort [baby is irritable] and decreased appetite.
- Babies less than 3 months old should be taken to the pediatrician if they have a cold.
- In the case of older babies make sure you keep feeding the baby and ensure you give plenty of fluids.
- They are most often self limiting- that is they are cured with no need for major medications.
- Babies who are breast fed are less likely to get colds, and if they do they usually recover faster.
- Babies who are exposed to cigarette smoke catch colds more easily and take longer to recover.
- It usually takes 5-10 days for a baby to recover from a cold.
- Your baby may catch a lot of colds in his first year- up to ten times or more.
- Keep wiping your baby's nose to clear mucus.
- If your baby has high fever /bad cough /greenish mucus /wheeze /breathing difficulty /feeding poorly see your pediatrician immediately.
Ear infections are a common complication after a bout of cold in children. There are a few things than you need to understand about ear infections in children and why you need to be extra careful.
What is to be done...?
- If your child has had a cold a few days [3-5] before, and then develops a fever it could be an ear infection.
- The Eustachian tube in infants [a tube connecting the middle ear to the back of throat/nose] is shorter and more horizontal. This predisposes to ear infections.
- As your baby grows the Eustachian tube will grow to about 3 times in present size and become more vertical. This will reduce chances of ear infections.
- If your child cries in pain/ appears uncomfortable during feeds it could be an ear infection. Always consult your pediatrician.
- Ear infections can lead to complications. If you suspect that your baby could be having an ear infection, do not hesitate to consult your pediatrician.
Gastroenteritis (Loose motions & vomiting)
Many babies in India contract infections via contaminated water/ food. Extra precautions are always needed with a baby in the house. The infection can be from an external source or from someone in the house who has an infection. Babies are susceptible to infection because their immune systems are not yet fully developed.
What is to be done...?
- The cause can be bacterial or viral.
- Avoid giving the baby any food items bought from outside.
- Anyone at home who has an upset stomach should avoid handling the baby or the baby's items and food.
- Keeping your child adequately hydrated is the most important thing to do. Keep giving the child ORS [Oral Rehydration Solution] to ensure he does not get dehydrated.
- If you feel your baby has not passed urine as often as he normally does, he could be getting dehydrated. If you have any doubts about this always consult your pediatrician immediately.
- Your baby will require frequent nappy changes. Keep him clean and dry; otherwise he could contract a nappy rash.
- There may be associated vomiting. If the vomiting is bad and your baby is unable to keep feeds down, you should consult yourpediatrician immediately
- If your baby has a fever as well it is always safer to consult your pediatrician.
Quick Bytes by Reliance General Insurance:
Children are normally vulnerable to illnesses. The younger is your child, the more you need to care for him. If you are a parent, you would know how a frequent health checkup an infant requires. Starting with vaccination, examination and medications (if any), the cost of an infant’s healthcare can burn your pocket. But, this cost should not keep you away from providing the best healthcare to your child. Therefore, insure your child under a good healthcare insurance plan and ensure the best healthcare.