Skip to content

Children's Health

Font Size

Comforting a Child Who Has a Respiratory Illness - Topic Overview

Here are some ways you can help comfort your child who has a respiratory camera.gif illness (such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection or a cold):

  • Give acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help relieve fever (if present). Follow all instructions on the label slideshow.gif. If you give medicine to your baby, follow your doctor's advice about what amount to give. Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than 20 because of the risk of Reye syndrome.
  • Prevent dehydration. Encourage your child to drink extra fluids or suck on flavored ice pops, such as Popsicles. Let your baby breast-feed more often or give your baby extra bottles. Liquids may help thin the mucus and also reduce fever (if present). But don't force your child to take fluids, which may cause your child to vomit.
  • Let your child rest. Unless you see signs of dehydration, do not awaken your child during naps or at night to take fluids.
  • Keep your child away from smoke and fumes. This includes cigarette smoke, smoke from wood-burning stoves, and fumes from gas, oil, or kerosene heaters. These irritate the breathing tubes and slow healing.
  • Place extra pillows under the upper half of an older child's body, or raise the head of the bed by putting wood blocks under the bed frame.
  • Use saline nose drops and an aspirating bulb to clear your child's nose. You may need to suction your child's nose if he or she is unable to breathe well enough to eat or sleep.
  • If your child is having trouble breathing or if symptoms are getting worse, contact a doctor.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: October 25, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1
    Next Article:

    Comforting a Child Who Has a Respiratory Illness Topics

    Today on WebMD

    child with red rash on cheeks
    What’s that rash?
    plate of fruit and veggies
    How healthy is your child’s diet?
     
    smiling baby
    Treating diarrhea, fever and more.
    Middle school band practice
    Understanding your child’s changing body.
     

    worried kid
    fitArticle
    boy on father's shoulder
    Article
     
    Child with red rash on cheeks
    Slideshow
    girl thinking
    Article
     

    Loaded with tips to help you avoid food allergy triggers.

    Loading ...

    Sending your email...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

    Thanks!

    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    babyapp
    New
    Child with adhd
    Slideshow
     
    rl with friends
    fitSlideshow
    Syringes and graph illustration
    Tool