Cold (Upper Respiratory Infection), 0 to 3 Months: After Your Child's Visit
Your Care Instructions
An upper respiratory infection, also called a URI, is an infection of the nose, sinuses, or throat. URIs are spread by coughs, sneezes, and direct contact. The common cold is the most frequent kind of URI. The flu is another kind of URI.
Almost all URIs are caused by viruses, so antibiotics will not cure them. But you can do things at home to help your child get better. With most URIs, your child should feel better in 4 to 10 days.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
How can you care for your child at home?
- If your child has problems breathing or eating because of a stuffy nose, put a few saline (saltwater) nasal drops in one nostril. Using a soft rubber suction bulb, squeeze air out of the bulb, and gently place the tip of the bulb inside the baby's nose. Relax your hand to suck the mucus from the nose. Repeat in the other nostril.
- Place a humidifier by your child's bed or close to your child. This may make it easier for your child to breathe. Follow the directions for cleaning the machine.
- Keep your child away from smoke. Do not smoke or let anyone else smoke around your child or in your house.
- Wash your hands and your child's hands regularly so that you don't spread the disease.
When should you call for help?
Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:
- Your child seems very sick or is hard to wake up.
- Your child has severe trouble breathing. Symptoms may include:
- Using the belly muscles to breathe.
- The chest sinking in or the nostrils flaring when your child struggles to breathe.
Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:
- Your child has new or increased shortness of breath.
- Your child has a new or higher fever.
- Your child seems to be getting sicker.
- Your child has coughing spells and can't stop.
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:
- Your child does not get better as expected.
Care instructions adapted under license by Slm. This care instruction is for use with your licensed healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.