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How to detect and cure viral infections in your baby

It is very common for babies to catch infections that lead to cold, influenza, pneumonia or bronchitis. There are many viruses that cause similar kinds of symptoms. Some of these diseases are discussed below.

What are the symptoms of common cold?

If your baby is breastfed, the chances of her catching cold are very slim since mother’s milk is a good source of antibodies that help your baby fight against a large number of viruses. As the baby starts crawling and moving around, the chances of catching cold increase as the exposure to germs increases.

Symptoms: Most cold viruses are associated with symptoms like blocked or running nose, sore throat, cough, fever and lethargy. The nasal discharge may initially be clear, but gradually become thick and yellow.

Treatment: There is no specific treatment for common cold, although the symptoms may be easily managed with simple home remedies. Give plenty of fluids to your baby. If the baby has congestion, put her head up during sleep. You may also want to rub menthol on her chest and back.

You can also try home remedy like steam to help your baby. You can use the bathroom by turning on the hot shower and take your baby along with you to stand in the steam for 5-10 minutes.

How to cure influenza at home?

Influenza, which is more commonly known as flu, is a viral infection similar to common cold, but is of more serious nature. It weakens the body and makes her vulnerable to secondary infections like ear infection, sinusitis and chest infection.

Symptoms: If your baby has contracted influenza, she may experience fever, muscle pains, headache, sore throat and/or dry coughing etc. This can be accompanied by general discomfort, weakness, fatigue and reduced appetite. The baby may also get chills/sweats at times.

Treatment: Encourage your baby to take ample rest and give her plenty of fluids. Make sure that your baby’s surroundings are warm and well ventilated. This helps in relieving some of the symptoms. If your baby is running high temperature that is not coming down, consult the doctor immediately. Antibiotics can help you manage your baby’s symptoms.

What are the various kinds of pneumonia?

Pneumonia is an infection/inflammation of the lungs that is caused by a variety of different organisms like bacteria or viruses. This disease can occur in any age but is most harmful in case of babies and elderly. Infants who are 2 to 3 months old may develop pneumonia, a condition which is called infant pneumonia. Infant Pneumonia can be classified into Bacterial Pneumonia and Viral Pneumonia.

Symptoms of Bacterial Pneumonia: If your baby is afflicted with bacterial pneumonia then the symptoms may develop rather suddenly. The symptoms associated with this form of infant pneumonia include high fever, rapid breathing and coughing. The appetite of your baby goes down and she may appear extremely unwell or ill. Your baby may have problems in breathing and she may become extremely weak. Your baby may also suffer from diarrhea or vomiting.

Symptoms of Viral Pneumonia: Viral Pneumonia normally starts out in the form of cold and persists for a few days. Over some time the symptoms get worse and the baby may have high fever. The baby may also experience rapid breathing and wheezing along with cough that may get worse. This may be accompanied with other problems such as vomiting, diarrhea and weakness. It is usually more common and less severe than bacterial pneumonia.

Treating Your Baby’s Pneumonia With Fluids: The treatment of infant pneumonia depends on the extent of your baby’s sickness. In case of bacterial pneumonia your doctor may prescribe certain antibiotics. Viral pneumonia does not respond to the antibiotic treatment and taking lots of fluids along with adequate rest may treat this form of pneumonia. It is, in fact, extremely crucial to increase your baby’s intake of fluids as it prevents her from dehydration that may occur due to the fever and rapid breathing. Viral Pneumonia usually subsides on its own in 2-3 weeks. In most cases, bacterial pneumonia also gets better in a week’s time even though the cough may linger on some more.

How can bronchitis affect your baby?  

Bronchitis is the viral infection of the lining of the airways in lungs. This infection causes inflammation and mucosal build up in the bronchi.

Infants and Younger Babies Are More Prone: Brochitis or Bronchiolitis is a more severe form of Bronchitis in which there is infection of the smaller airways in the lungs. Bronchiolitis is common in babies and young babies and can cause severe breathing difficulties in them. As these airways become inflamed, they swell and fill with mucus, making breathing difficult. It most often affects infants and young babies because their small airways may become blocked more easily than those of older kids or adults

Symptoms and Treatment: Bronchitis is characterized by cough and breathlessness, which can also cause difficulty in feeding. The baby may have high temperature and may appear pale. If your baby is struggling to breathe, consult your doctor immediately. The doctor prescribes some antibiotics that treat your baby’s bronchitis. He may also advise some mucous resuscitation.

How to easily take care of your baby sickness?

A sick baby can be a cause of great worry for a mother. As a baby’s immune system is still developing, even a simple cold can turn into something more serious if not cared for. That is why it becomes important for a parent to be cautious. By educating yourself about these conditions, closely observing of your baby when she falls sick and seeking timely medical help ensures that your baby gets optimum care and she quickly gets back to normal.

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