Respiratory Problems,Age 11 and Younger - Home Treatment
Most children have 7 to 10 mild upper
respiratory infections each year. Your child may feel uncomfortable and have a
stuffy nose. The infection is usually better within a week and is usually gone
within 14 days.
Home treatment is appropriate for mild symptoms
and can help your child feel better.
Keep the room temperature comfortable for you and your child. A
hot, dry environment will increase nasal congestion.
Raise the head of your baby's bed about
1 in. (2.5 cm) to
2 in. (5 cm) by placing blocks
under the crib. Do not raise just the mattress because it may leave a gap for
your baby to roll into. Do not raise the head of the bed
if your baby is younger than 6 months.
Lukewarm mist may help your child feel more comfortable by
soothing the swollen air passages. It may also help with your child's
hoarseness. But do not let your child's room get uncomfortably cold or very
Use a shallow pan of water to provide moisture in the air
through evaporation if you do not have a humidifier. Place the pan where no one
will trip on it or fall into it.
rubber bulb to suction the nose sparingly. It will help reduce nasal
drainage if your baby is having difficulty breast-feeding or bottle-feeding or
seems to be short of breath. Babies often do not like having their noses
suctioned with a rubber bulb.
Do not give your child oral
decongestants unless directed to do so by your child's
doctor. Antihistamines and decongestants can cause your child to behave
differently, making it harder to tell how sick he or she really is. Studies
show that over-the-counter cough medicines do not work very well. And some of
these medicines can cause problems if you use too much of them. It is important
to use medicines correctly and to keep them out of the reach of children to
prevent accidental use.
If your child's doctor prescribes decongestant nose drops for
your child's stuffy nose, put 1 or 2 drops in one side of the nose only.
Use only when needed, such as before feeding or
Alternate the side of the nose that you put the drops
Don't use nose drops for longer than 3 days.
Don't share the nose drops with other members of the
If your child has a cough:
Honey or lemon juice in hot water or tea may
help a dry cough. Do not give honey to a child younger than 1 year old. It may
have bacteria that are harmful to babies.
Be careful with cough and cold medicines. They may not be safe for young children, so check the label first. If you do give these medicines to a child, always follow the directions about how much to give based on the child?s age and weight. For more information, see the topic Quick Tips: Giving Over-the-Counter Medicines to Children.
Talk to your child?s doctor before switching back and
forth between doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. When you switch between two
medicines, there is a chance your child will get too much medicine.
Be sure to follow these
safety tips when you use a nonprescription medicine:
Carefully read and follow all labels on the medicine bottle
Give, but do not exceed, the maximum recommended
Do not give your child a medicine if he or she has had an
allergic reaction to it in the past.