The first year of life is when a child is most prone to illness. This is mainly because the immune system of the baby is just starting to function and it has not been exposed to many germs and diseases, which would have led to the production of antibodies. This is why the administration of certain vaccines is mandatory. However, there are certain illnesses that do not have such vaccines and which are most easily contracted by babies.
1. Common Cold
Symptoms: Coughing, wheezing, sore throat, mucus-filled nostrils, mild fever
Treatment: The best way to treat a common cold is to help clear your baby’s nasal passage and help make breathing easier, rather than administering medicines, as these could be harmful. The best way to do this is to use saline nasal sprays, humidifiers and steaming. If the problem persists, take your baby to the doctor and administer medicines as necessary.
Prevention: Keep your baby away from people who are sick and make sure that your baby’s surroundings (including his/her toys, pacifiers, milk bottles, etc.) are clean. Also, ensure that your baby is clean and germ-free.
Symptoms: Frequent and watery bowel movements, which may or may not be accompanied by dehydration
Treatment: It generally goes away on its own within a couple of days. Keep monitoring and reporting to the doctor. Oral Rehydration Solution is effective in treating dehydration.
Prevention: Ensure that your baby’s surroundings are clean and hygienic. Avoid bottle-feeding for the first few months. Feed your baby only freshly prepared food that has been made in hygienic conditions.
3. Respiratory Syncytial Virus
Symptoms: In most cases, the symptoms are similar to those of a common cold - coughing, runny nose, etc. However, if it persists, these symptoms can develop into bronchitis and wheeze. If it spreads to the lungs, it may also lead to pneumonia.
Treatment: When in its initial, minor stages, the same remedies for colds should help. If it advances, or lasts for more than a week, consults a doctor.
Prevention: Ensure that your baby’s surroundings are clean and germ-free. Avoid smoking around your baby. Wash your hands frequently in order to get rid of germs before handling your baby.
Symptoms: Flushed appearance, high temperature.
Treatment: Sponge baths and infant pain relievers recommended by your doctor should be sufficient for cases where your baby doesn’t seem very affected. If you notice more discomfort, take your little one to the doctor.
Prevention: The best way to prevent it is to prevent your baby from being exposed to any unwanted germs (keep yourself and your baby clean and germ-free, ensure that the surroundings are clean and hygienic and ensure that the food your baby receives it well-cooked and cooked in a hygienic setting).
5. Ear Infections
Symptoms: Crying due to discomfort, frequently waking up at night and general crankiness.
Treatment: Infant pain reliever would help. Keep your baby upright to drain out excess fluid in the ear. If your baby still seems to be uncomfortable, take him/her to the doctor for antibiotics.
Prevention: Control (reduce) the presence of allergens. Breastfeed for a sufficient period. Treat colds promptly and efficiently to prevent any buildup of germs.
6. Hand Foot Mouth
Symptoms: Tiredness, fever, sore throat, blisters and sores on the hands and feet and inside the mouth. A rash may appear on the skin.
Treatment: Treat the symptoms by soothing the sore throat with cold fluids and icicles. Avoid acidic foods and drinks like spicy food and juices. Ibuprofen or acetaminophen will help in case your baby is in pain.
Prevention: Keep the germs away by washing your hands frequently and keep your baby’s environment clean.
Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain.
Treatment: Ensure that your baby drinks a lot of fluids to prevent dehydration. Oral Rehydration Solution is a good solution, as it also replenishes any lost salts and sugar.
Prevention: Keep the environment, yourself and your baby germ-free.
Babies tend to get sick quite often, but more often than not, it sorts itself out with the help of your tender love and care. It’s best to be prepared for these situations so that you don’t get stressed out if/when it happens.