“Dr. Linda, last year my baby caught a cold in October and kept it all winter. Is there anything I can do to prevent him from getting a cold this year?”

There are two main ways to keep your baby healthy during cold and Flu season

  1. Lower your baby’s exposure to viruses.
  2. Strengthen your baby’s immune system

Lowering your baby’s exposure to viruses

Avoid situations with a high potential for exposure to viruses during cold and Flu season. Areas with a lot of people pose a high risk of exposure for anyone, especially a young baby. This is particularly important for babies less than three months old because their immune systems are immature and not effective at fighting off infections.

Places to avoid during cold and Influenza season

  • Public places like grocery stores and malls
  • Large gatherings of people such as school, daycare, places of worship, large family gathering and parties

If you can’t avoid taking your baby to such a public place, consider these guidelines.

  • Cover him up so nobody can sneeze or cough on him by accident
  • Don’t let anyone who is sick get too close to your baby or pick him up
  • Make sure everyone who wants to touch your baby washes their hands first
  • Carry hand sanitizer so you can clean your hands before touching your baby

Handwashing

Your baby most commonly gets exposed to cold viruses through touch. Cold viruses are transferred to everything an infected person touches. When you touch something with a cold virus on it and then touch your baby without washing your hands, you transfer the virus to him.

Handwashing is the key to preventing colds during cold and Flu season

Proper handwashing technique:

Yes, there is a right way to wash your hands!

  • Wet your hands under clean running water
  • Put a small amount of soap on your hands and lather it up
  • Rub the lather over every part of your hands, including between your fingers and under your fingernails
  • Rub for twenty seconds, as long as it takes to sing the happy birthday song or to count 20 hippopotami.
  • Dry your hands with a clean cloth

Hand sanitizer

If you don’t have access to water, you can use hand sanitizer.

  • If there is visible material on your hands, wipe it off
  • Squirt the sanitizer on your hands
  • Rub it on every part of your hands until the sanitizer is completely dried

Nasal suctioning

This prevents colds by physically removing the virus from your baby’s nose after exposure.

When to suction your baby’s nose

• At the end of each day during cold and Influenza season
• After your baby has been exposed to a lot of people — after daycare, preschool, a birthday party, family gatherings or visits to the mall or grocery store

How to suction baby’s nose

  • Squirt 1-2 drops of sterile saline into your baby’s nostrils. If your baby is less than two months old, don’t put the saline in both nostrils at the same time. Young babies can’t yet breathe through their mouths, even when they’re open.
  • Compress the bulb of the bulb syringe with your thumb before putting the tip in your baby’s nose
  • Place the tip of the syringe gently in your baby’s nostril and remove your thumb from the bulb
  • Wait as the saline gets sucked up into the syringe. Repeat this step if any saline is left.
  • Suction the other side

 

What to do if you or a family member has a cold:

Make sure whoever has a cold sneezes or coughs into a tissue that can be thrown out.

Ask whoever has a cold not to kiss or put their face too close to the baby.

Make sure that whoever is sick washes their hands well before touching the baby.

Exposure to cigarette smoking increases the number colds and ear infections that babies get so please don’t l;et anyone smoke around your baby.

 

Please share this blog with other moms. Please post your comments or questions below I would love to hear from you.

Tune in next week to read part two, strengthening your baby’s immune system.

To your holistic health,

Ask Dr. Linda

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