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Snot and sweat

 
A snotty, feverish baby is a sad thing to see. But colds and flu are inevitable, so here’s how to cope
sick baby smiles
Hilda Geyer

Pic: Getty Images

Article originally in Parent24
No matter if you breastfeed, are careful about who holds your baby and mop everything with antiseptic wipes; your baby will eventually catch a cold. Children younger than 10 - 12 years are especially vulnerable to the flu virus. While a cold comes on gradually, usually via the appearance of lots of snot, flu has a sudden onset in children. Within one hour a baby can run a high fever and be drastically ill, but he'll probably recover within 2-3 days.

Look for other signs of illness when your child has a fever, Flu symptoms in children are often misdiagnosed - or even missed:
  • Appetite loss
  • Vomiting or abdominal pain
  • Irritability
  • Unusual sleepiness
  • Severe headache
  • Persistent crying
  • Inability to swallow
  • Sore throat
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Ear pain

What to do
  • Keep the fever under control with paracetamol syrup and by spongeing the baby with tepid (not cold) water. A child with a very high temperature might be at risk of a fever fit (febrile convulsion).
  • Do not treat your feverish child with aspirin, in rare cases this can trigger Reye's Syndrome which affects the brain and liver.
  • Antihistamines should not be used in children under the age of two, unless specifically recommended by the paediatrician.
  • Keep your child at home if he is ill or if a lot of children in his playgroup are ill.

When to call the doctor
  • Your child (any age) has a temperature of 39°C or more.
  • Your child has a fever even after taking paracetamol (such as Tylenol) for 3 days.
Do you know any tried and tested fixes for sick babies? Share them with us.
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