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A Guide to Preventing and Treating Common Cold and Flu in Infants and Toddlers

by Apurva Rungta 05 Feb 2024 0 Comments

As a parent, witnessing your little one battle the common cold or flu can be a challenging experience. In this blog, we will explore effective strategies to prevent and treat these common ailments in infants and toddlers. Additionally, we'll delve into some traditional remedies that have been passed down through generations to provide comfort and relief.


  1. Hygiene Practices:
    • Encourage frequent handwashing for both parents and the child.
    • Use baby-friendly hand sanitizers when soap and water are not readily available.
    • Ensure that toys, feeding utensils, and surfaces are regularly sanitized.
  2. Proper Nutrition:
    • Breastfeeding provides infants with essential antibodies that strengthen their immune system.
    • Introduce a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains for toddlers.
    • Vitamin C-rich foods, such as oranges and strawberries, can aid in immune system support.
  3. Adequate Sleep:
    • Establish a consistent sleep routine to ensure your child gets sufficient rest.
    • A well-rested body is better equipped to fight off infections.
  4. Weather Appropriate Dressing:
    • Dress your child in layers during colder months to prevent exposure to harsh weather conditions.
    • Avoid sudden temperature changes, and ensure your child is adequately covered when going outdoors.
    • Do not shy away from giving your child outdoors time in winters, just clothe them appropriately. 


  1. Fluid Intake:
    • Offer plenty of fluids, including water, clear soups, and warm herbal teas, to prevent dehydration.
    • Breastfeeding or formula feeding should continue to provide essential nutrients.
    • You can try giving water at body temperature instead of hot water during cold and cough.
  2. Humidification:
    • Use a cool-mist humidifier in your child's room to keep the air moist, easing congestion.
    • Steam inhalation with the help of a vaporizer can also provide relief.
  3. Nasal Saline Drops:
    • Saline drops can help relieve nasal congestion in infants.
    • Gently suction the nose with a bulb syringe after administering saline drops.
  4. Elevate the Head:
    • Elevate the head of the crib or bed slightly to ease breathing difficulties.
    • This can be achieved by placing a pillow under the mattress. 

Traditional Remedies:

  1. Tulsi (Holy Basil):
    • Tulsi has antimicrobial properties and can be used to make soothing water.
    • A few leaves boiled in water, and sweetened with honey, can be offered to toddlers.
  2. Turmeric Milk (Haldi Doodh):
    • Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties and can help alleviate cold symptoms.
    • Mix a pinch of turmeric in warm milk and sweeten with a natural sweetener like honey.
  3. Ajwain Potli (Carom Seed Pouch):
    • Roast carom seeds and place them in a soft cloth pouch.
    • Gently press the pouch on the child's chest to relieve congestion.
  4. Ginger and Honey:
    • A mixture of ginger juice and honey can be a natural cough suppressant.
    • Administer a small spoonful to toddlers.
  5. Mustard Oil:
  • Heat mustard oil and apply gently on feet and back of the child
  • You can also apply mustard oil mixed with garlic and ajwain on baby’s chest at night.


While preventing the common cold and flu entirely may be challenging, implementing these strategies and incorporating traditional Indian remedies can help ease symptoms and provide comfort to your infant or toddler. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice, especially if symptoms persist or worsen. Remember, the key lies in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and promptly addressing symptoms to ensure your child's well-being.


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