Gastonia’s children’s doctor can help you identify your child’s cold

Gastonia’s children’s doctor insists that parents take note of any new behaviors and signs of baby sickness. Babies, especially newborns, are at higher risk of infections. Do you think your child is suffering from a cold? You are not alone. Healthy children get approximately six colds in the first year. Keep reading for the symptoms and causes of a cold and when to see a doctor.

Symptoms of a cold

  • Runny or stuffy nose.
  • Clear nasal discharge that turns gray, yellow, or green.
  • Fever at the beginning.
  • A hoarse voice and cough may accompany it.
  • You may notice swollen lymph nodes and watery eyes.

Causes of a cold

Respiratory viruses cause colds. The influenza virus, for instance, causes a bad cold characterized by more fever and muscle aches. Colds are rarely severe, with the likelihood of only 5 to 10% of children developing a complication. This is often an ear or sinus infection caused by bacteria.

Does your baby have trouble breathing?

Breathing difficulty is one of the reasons to visit a children’s clinic immediately. Trouble breathing is called respiratory distress, and the symptoms to worry about include:

  • Shortness of breath or struggling for each breath.
  • Your baby can barely cry due to tight breathing.
  • Much faster breathing than normal.
  • Noisy breathing is sometimes characterized by wheezing
  • Retractions (ribs pull with each breath).
  • Face or lips turn blue.

When to call the children’s doctor

Call 911 if you notice severe trouble breathing and when you think your child could have a life-threatening emergency. Call the doctor with the following:

  • Trouble breathing (not severe and disappears after cleaning the nose).
  • Much faster breathing than usual.
  • Wheezing (characterized by purring or whistling sounds).
  • New onset drooling and trouble swallowing.
  • A high-risk child with chronic lung disease.
  • A child with a weak immune system, such as HIV, cancer, sickle cell disease, or organ transplant.
  • A fever of over 104 degrees Fahrenheit or 40 degrees Celsius.
  • A child who looks very sick.

Care advice for a cold

A regular cold lasts approximately two weeks, but you can manage the symptoms as follows:

  1. Suction the nose

The most common cold symptom is a runny nose with lots of discharge in some cases. It washes germs out of the nose and sinuses. Carefully suction the nose with a suction bulb for younger children. Also, apply petroleum jelly on the skin under the nose. Remember to wash the skin first with warm water to avoid redness. However, suction alone can’t clear dried or sticky mucus.

  1. Use nasal saline to open blocked noses

Utilize saline (salt water) nose spray to loosen up the dried mucus. An alternative is to use a few drops of water. This can be boiled water, distilled water, or boiled tap water. Suction one nostril out while closing off the other nostril. Then perform it on the next nostril.

  1. Keep your child well hydrated

Try to get your child to take extra formula or breast milk. It thins the discharge and loosens up any phlegm in the lungs.

  1. Use a humidifier if the air in your home is dry

Visit Gastonia’s children’s doctor

The early weeks and months of life are sensitive and crucial. Caregivers need to watch their babies carefully to detect any illness signs early. In case you are unsure if your baby is sick, the best approach is to visit Gastonia’s children’s doctor. Gastonia Pediatric Associates, your Gastonia area pediatricians, offers top-quality pediatric care.