Question: Dear Dr. Ketch. Thanks for your wonderful advice. God bless. I have a one-year old grandson – very gorgeous and healthy. Thank you Jesus! At this time, he is struggling with a blocked nose and a lot of snot, yellowish in colour. Some runny but also a lot of phlegm that catches in his throat. What can you recommend I give him for it? Thank you.
A: Congratulations on your gorgeous grandchild! I can just imagine your pride and joy! May he grow up to fulfill his destiny!
As a parent, how much more a doting grandparent, it’s very normal for you to feel worried when your baby is ill especially when it appears you’re helpless and really can’t do anything to help him/her.
First, a note about cough syrups which many parents like to give, because the symptoms you described are often associated with cough, too.
First, if your baby’s cough is due to a cold, you really don’t need to give your baby any drug. A cold is a viral infection and once it causes an infection, it will run its course before it stops. And so, with or without drugs, a cold will go. It would usually last for about a week to 10 days and then disappear. There’s no need for antibiotics for a viral infection. Indeed, taking antibiotics when they are not needed leads to antibiotic resistance where the antibiotics can no longer properly do their jobs when they are really needed to fight infections.
Then some of the ingredients in the cough syrups can also cause
a baby’s heart to beat faster, may cause convulsions and basically do not treat
the cause of the cough. They are actually not supposed to be used for children
younger than 2 years of age.
Now, what can you do in the meantime to relieve the blocked nose:
Let your baby sleep in your arms or in a semi-upright position.
You can prop him up with lots of pillows at night.
Offer your baby fluids and use a saline spray to ease the congestion in his nose. You can ask your doctor or pharmacist for this.
An air humidifier also moistens the air and makes it easier for your baby to breath. If you don’t have this, you can let your baby breath in steam from a hot shower. This has to be done carefully under adult supervision. An easy way is to run hot water in the shower and walk around with your baby in the bathroom.
A suction bulb can also help remove mucous/snot from your baby’s nose. You can ask for one in the hospital or a pharmacy.
Please see your baby’s doctor if this cough continues and/or your baby develops a fever and the symptoms persist after 2 weeks. If your baby also has difficulty breathing, cannot breath or feed, you should also see his/her doctor.
All the best!
Have a great week ahead!