Jun and Jen are first time parents to Macy, a one-and-a-half-month old baby. They’ve decided to breastfeed their baby to ensure that she will be better protected against infection.
Jun brings Macy to Jen at the wee hours of the morning so that Macy can suckle directly from her mom’s breast. However, one night, while Macy was nursing, Jun observed that after a few hungry gulps, Macy seemed to choke. Macy would take a few breathes in between nursing and cries after releasing the nipple and then grasps the nipple again.
This goes on the whole night that Jun and Jen became worried. The next day, they sought consult with a pediatrician.
Nasal congestion, especially in very young infants should be monitored and treated by a physician because it is not harmless. During the first one to two months of life, a baby is said to be an obligate nasal breather because she has not yet learned to breathe through her mouth. Thus, the only way she can get air is to cry when her nose is blocked.
It is therefore important to ensure that your baby’s nasal passages are clear.
In my earlier post, I discussed fever management without the use of medicines. The true purpose of fever is to activate your immune system so that you can overcome the infection or disease. Thus, the use of antipyretic is not usually recommended.
This time, I will tackle another common ailment in children which is nasal congestion and/or colds.
Colds are upper respiratory tract infections (URTI’s) which involve the nasal passage, throat, sinuses, and sometimes the eyes.
They usually come in the form of runny nose and cough. When the mucus drips down from the nose to the posterior pharynx, through the throat (“postnasal drip”), and down to the windpipe (trachea), coughing occurs to clear the airway from the debris that accumulates.
This “dripping” of mucus down from the nose to the trachea increases with gravity so that the cough worsens or is more frequent when baby is put down to sleep. Colds are usually caused by viruses and in most cases, self-limiting or resolve on their own within seven to 10 days. Thus, they do not require use of antibiotics.
Mothers usually ask for a prescription of decongestants because they want faster relief for their kids. However, there are natural home remedies that you can use to relieve this condition without resorting to synthetic medicines that can do more harm than good.
To be continued in the next Blog. ....
The natural home remedy discussed in this article is not meant to treat or cure but are alternative guides to alleviate the symptoms of common ailments in children. Should your child’s symptoms persist, consult your friendly neighborhood pediatrician or family physician.