Treating Chest Congestion in Infants

My baby is having a chest congestion and a running nose. I have tried giving her honey with alum, but it is not working. Then I tried a homeopathic medication, but it still didn't work. Please suggest to me a good medical treatment as I have not been able to sleep for many nights and neither has she.

By Nikita from Maharashtra, India

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September 6, 20100 found this helpful

Take her to a doctor for medical treatment.

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September 6, 20100 found this helpful

Honey is never to be given to infants, see a doctor right away before she gets worse.

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September 7, 20100 found this helpful

Homeopathy is total rubbish, it is not medication.

"You need to take the child to see a doctor straight away."

OK, this is easy enough to say when one lives in country where the nearest medical center can be less than five minutes away and the treatment is either free or pretty much affordable. Some folk aren't so lucky...

I did a quick search using the key words: "chest congestion runny nose bacteria virus" and found this:

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wel ... atherapy-chest-congestion-relief.htm

I don't believe things like aromatherapy cane cure things like cancer, broken bones, improve "chi" flow and other such mumbo-jumbo, but I have read that many strongly aromatic substances, such as garlic, onions and so on have proven antibacterial properties. Things like this are worth trying out when there is no proven working alternative.

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September 7, 20100 found this helpful

As Lorelei said, don't give honey to your baby. You don't say how old she is, but honey shouldn't be given to children younger than 1 year old because they can get botulism.

When my daughter was smaller, the doctor suggested using a vaporizer in her room at night, and taking her into the steamy bathroom with me. Breathing the steam seems to relieve some of the congestion and make it easier to breathe. Do you have access to a product called Vicks Vaporub? It is rubbed onto the chest, and smells like menthol. There is now another product from Vicks called Babyrub. I'm under the impression the ingredients don't smell quite so strong, so it's easier on babies. You should ask her doctor if one of these products (or something similar) would be appropriate for your daughter.

Since this has been going on for several days, please try and consult with a doctor if you are able to. It sounds like both of you will feel much better once her breathing improves, and you can get some rest. Best of luck to you, I hope the baby is feeling better soon!

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September 8, 20100 found this helpful

Sorry not to be able to help you with your question other than to suggest taking her to a doctor, but I thought you should read the following just to be informed (from http://www.wisegeek.com/why-shouldnt-infants-eat-honey.htm).

"Although honey is a delicious natural sweetener, it should not be fed to infants under one year of age because of the risk of infant botulism. In the United States, most honey products are labeled to indicate this. Infant botulism is a type of food poisoning that can result in death.

Botulinum spores are widely found throughout nature, although honey tends to harbor them more than other foods. In fact, botulinum can appear in other sweeteners, such as maple syrup, as well as corn syrup. Botulinum can even be found in dust, indicating that it is an extremely widespread toxin. As a result, most humans adapt to it and are able to fend off small amounts of the toxin, such as those present in honey.

Infants, however, do not have a completely matured digestive system and are susceptible to botulism food poisoning. While honey does not always contain the spores, it is more likely to contain botulinum than some other food products, and therefore parents are recommended to avoid it unless it is pasteurized. Pasteurized honey is also crystallized, however, due to the heat process, and is therefore rarely available. As a result, parents need to be cautious about processed foods containing honey, which is probably unpasteurized. Ingredient labels should always be carefully inspected.

Infant botulism can be deadly if not recognized early, and because of the widespread nature of the toxin, parents should recognize the signs of botulism, which begins with constipation. An infant suffering from botulism will also exhibit nervous system damage, which manifests as muscle weakness. As a result of the muscle weakness, infants with botulism will cry more weakly, have difficulty feeding, and have a limp and floppy appearance. Infant botulism also results in lethargy."

My sincerest wishes are with you that your baby gets better and that you are able to get some sleep.

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September 9, 20100 found this helpful

Please take your child to a doctor. Do this as soon as possible. Your child is sick and this could get serious.

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September 9, 20100 found this helpful

My younger brother suffered from what was called 'croup' when he was a toddler back in the 1950s. His barking cough would keep the entire household awake. My mother used to create a tent over his crib with a large sheet and put pots of steaming water on the floor beside the crib. This functioned like an intense sort of vaporizer and helped a lot. I don't remember her putting anything aromatic in the water, but I imagine that would help if you had access to a menthol or eucalyptus oil. I do think if you can, taking your baby to a doctor would be best, but if you cannot, the other advice that has been offered here is good.

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September 9, 20100 found this helpful

1. Don't give your baby honey!

2. Elevate head of mattress slightly (1-2IN) with large book or towel (under the mattress)

3. Humidifier (just water) no medicine.

4. Take child in if concerned- DO NOT give any types of medicines (homeopathic or regular) without approval from your provider.

Posted by a medical provider.

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September 9, 20100 found this helpful

Comment about the vaporizer: We were told to use one for our son when he was an infant. It worked a little too well and steamed up his bedroom like it was under water.

Not a good idea. It also rusted the metal on the windows. Anyway, it didn't help the child because he later developed asthma and this type of humidity is contraindicated in this situation. So this was harming rather than helping. :(

So if you are going to run a vaporizer, keep it on LOW and keep the door open! It will become humid enough without closing the door.

Your pediatrician is going to check for a secondary infection for the baby and probably prescribe an antibiotic, which will lead to diarrhea, so ask about it in advance along with diaper rash meds.

In a similar situation, the substitute pediatrician gave me, the mom, a suggestion to get a good night's sleep with a decongestant (because I wasn't sleeping either at that point when my infant daughter was ill) and a prescription to cure her illness. You both need to sleep in order to heal. Take care of baby first and then yourself.

A suggestion learned from having an asthmatic child: I was told to pound (gently) the back up and down on the sides (Never on the spine) to help loosen the phlegm. If the child starts to cough stuff up, you know it's working. Ask your doctor if this is needed and how to do it and this may have something to do with the age of the child. When we did it, our child was 4 years old - you have a delicate infant, so I don't know how applicable this info may be.

I think that a man might use too much force unknowingly, probably a woman's touch would be better. This is based on the fact that when my husband did it, he had 2 speeds, afraid he was doing the pounding too hard and not hard enough. So I took over the job did all of it much to his unabated relief.

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September 9, 20100 found this helpful

I use rosemary essential oil for congestion in my children. It works better than eucalyptus oil for us. Your baby must be older than 2 weeks though. Dilute the oil in a little bit of olive oil, almond oil, or other vegetable oil you have around. I fill the palm of my hand with the base oil, then I add 2 or 3 drops of the essential oil. Stir the oils together clockwise, then rub the oil on the baby's chest, neck, behind the ears, and on the feet. This has saved me many sleepless nights. You may have to do this several times during the night, but you will get more sleep with it than without it. I sure hope this helps you.

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September 11, 20100 found this helpful

If you are not keen using orthodox medicine, take your baby to an ayurvedic doctor. you are lucky enough to live in india where they are much easier to find.

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September 11, 20100 found this helpful

One person mentioned Vick's vapor rub. As children we used to have this rubbed on our chests, and also put on our nose in order to make breathing easier. Recently I caught on the news that this product caused problems in children. Perhaps the recipe has changed? When in doubt contact your doctor. I hope your baby will be well soon.

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