Most coughs and colds in babies, toddlers and children aren't serious. And they will usually get better in a few days.
But there are ways to help your baby, toddler or child if they have a cough or a cold.
Paracetamol and ibuprofen
You can use acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve pain. Paracetamol and ibuprofen can also help lower a high temperature (fever) if your child is uncomfortably hot.
Paracetamol can be given to children from the age of three months.
Use acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve pain or lower a high temperature
Ibuprofen can also be given to children from the age of three months, as long as they weigh at least 5kg (11lbs).
Never give your child acetaminophen and ibuprofen at the same time.
If you are unsure, speak with your pharmacist or doctor.
Treating a cough in children
Simple cough mixtures that contain glycerol, honey and lemon are best for treating coughs in babies, toddlers and children.
Simple cough mixtures that contain glycerol, honey and lemon are best.
Other over-the-counter cough medicines at recommended doses may be suitable for children over the age of two. Speak with your pharmacist for further advice, and make sure you read the patient information leaflet (PIL) that comes with the medicine.
Never give your child more than one type of cough or cold medicine at the same time - different types may contain the same active ingredients.
If your baby, toddler or child has a blocked or stuffy nose, you can use vapour rubs and inhalant decongestants to provide relief and ease breathing - these can be applied to your child's clothing. Specific products are available from pharmacies for babies.
Use vapour rubs and inhalant decongestants to relieve a stuffy nose and ease breathing
Strong aromatic decongestants should not be used as rubs or placed on pillows for babies under three months of age.
You can also use plain saline nose drops in children under the age of two. These are particularly useful if your baby or toddler is having trouble feeding. Saline nose drops are available from pharmacies.
Do not use boiling water for inhalations as there is a risk of scalding.
If you're worried about your child's health
If you are concerned about your baby, toddler or child's health, or are unsure about which medicines are suitable for your child, speak with your pharmacist or doctor.
Don't forget to have them get their Vitamin D every day too. Colds and flu come more often in the winter when Vitamin D levels are low and studies show that taking Vitamin D every day virtually eliminated colds and flu.
Children's Vitamin D needs are often overlooked because it is too often thought that they get enough Vitamin D in foods. NOT TRUE! Most children are Vitamin D deficient, particularly in winter. Making sure that they get enough could eliminate the sniffles this winter.
Try this book - Jig, Jiggle, Sneeze by Joy Vitalis. It is super fun and will teach your child about viral infection and contagion and make them more aware and vigilant about prevention. Here is a link: