Call 911 if your child:
Colds, flu, and allergies cause congestion in babies and toddlers. Colds and flu are most commonly caused by viruses, so antibiotics won't help. Supportive treatments can help with symptoms, however there is no cure and the body needs to fight off the virus.
Call Doctor If:
1. Clear Out Mucus
- Use an infant nasal bulb, or aspirator, to suck mucus from your baby's nose. It's OK to use nasal saline to loosen the mucus.
- If your child is able, have them blow their nose regularly.
- Never use a cold or cough medicine in kids under age 4 unless a pediatrician suggests it.
2. Give Fluids
- If your child is over 3 months, offer them what they usually drink, such as formula or breastmilk. Water is good, too.
- Older children can have warm soups and other drinks.
3. Add Moisture
- Use a cool-mist humidifier if the air is dry.
- Use saline nose drops to moisten the nasal passages.
- Sit in the bathroom with the hot shower running and have your child breathe in the steam.
4. Treat Other Symptoms
- If your child is older than a year, try 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of honey for cough.
- Avoid irritants, such as cigarette smoke.
- Rub petroleum jelly under the nose to prevent chapping.
- If your child has allergies, talk to your pediatrician about treatment.