Some of the home remedies for RSV in babies include use of humidifier in baby room, nursing the baby, sufficient rest for the baby, prevent dehydration, get rid of stuffy nose, honey to treat dry cough, etc.
One of the commonest and contagious viruses that affect an infant's respiratory tract is called Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). Usually babies and little children infected by RSV, the extent of the infection is a mere cold. However, for the remaining infants and children, this infection along with RSV can be the beginning of serious medical conditions like bronchiolitis or the inflammation of the airways of the lungs or pneumonia, which can be fatal.
What is RSV in Babies?
Those at risk for this infection include:
- Premature babies
- Newborn babies and toddlers up to the age of two years who are born with lung or heart disease
- Toddlers and little kids whose immune systems are compromised due to medical treatment or illness
- Children between the ages of eight and 10 weeks
RSV Symptoms in Babies
RSV is identified by a cold, cough and a runny nose that goes on for a couple of weeks. Its other symptoms include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Green, yellow or grey mucus accompanied by a cough
- Highly upset or sluggish
- Refuses to breastfeed or bottle-feed
- Highly dehydrated symptoms such as no tears when crying, no urine in his diaper for over six hours and cool and dry skin
- Exhaustion accompanied by rasping breath and a bluish tint on his fingernails or lips
11 Home Remedies for RSV in Babies
It's not uncommon for children to have between seven and 10 mild respiratory infections every year. Children are very uncomfortable with a stuffy nose, though the infection improves within a week and goes completely a week later.
You can help your child get over his RSV by following any of the treatments given below:
Humidify the air in the room
Keep the room at a comfortable temperature that suits you and your child. By moistening the air, your child's cough and congestion will be eased. Ensure that the humidifier is clean so that bacteria and mould have no way of growing. However, if you don't have a humidifier, use a pan of water to change the moisture content in the air through evaporation.
A tepid mist in your child's bedroom will keep him comfortable as it soothes the swollen trachea. In some cases, it also makes the child's voice less hoarse.
Desist from giving your child any oral antihistamines or nasal decongestants unless your paediatrician directs you to. These medications can make your child behave different from the normal, making it difficult for the doctor to determine how sick he is really.
Over-the-counter medicines for cough aren't effective either. Besides, taking these medications too often can cause fresh problems for your child. It's best to take medicines in the right dosage and they should keep them away from children at other times. Also, remember not to give your child any leftover antibiotics or any other medication prescribed for others.
Nursing your baby
Give your baby more feeds or give him extra bottle feeds. Liquids are essential for RSV-infected babies as they play a role in thinning the mucus and getting rid of fever.
Let your baby rest
This is a time for your baby to rest as much as possible. Let your child get extra rest to fight the infection.
Place blocks below the crib and then raise your baby's head about a couple of inches high. However, do not raise his head if he is under six months old. Let your child rest. Don't wake him during the night to drink any fluids. Give him a lot of affection.
Keep your child sitting upright
Make your child sit upright as this enables better breathing. Seat him in a car seat as this too could help. In bed, let him lie on his back on a firm mattress, but keep his head raised by about three inches with an object below the mattress.
Let him drink liquids
Give him a steady stream of fluids through the day. Warm liquids like soups or milk will help thin all the thick secretions in his chest. Keep his breastfeeding or bottle feeding schedules normal.
Look out for symptoms of dehydration in your child. When your child breathes rapidly, has a fever or vomits, his body loses essential body fluids. These fluids can be replaced by having soft drinks, water, undiluted fruit juice, baby sports drinks or mother's milk. These fluids could contain more sugar, few calories or lack a good balance of electrolytes, so you should take enough care to choose the most nutritious fluids for your child.
Help him get rid of a stuffy nose
You can try any of the following treatments for a stuffy nose. Use a filler to put saline nose drops in his nostrils. Alternatively, suction the nose using a rubber bulb to minimize nasal drainage if your baby cannot be breastfed or if he is breathless.
If your child has a dry cough, give him a drink of honey in hot water. However, do not give him honey if he is under one year of age as it may contain bacteria that is harmful to infants.
Menthol isn't safe for little children, so be sure that you don't give him medicines containing menthol for his cough and cold.
To ease your child of the fever or pain of RSV, you can try giving him non-presrciptive medicine such as Tylenol for kids or Ibuprofen. If you swing between these two medicines, you could be overdosing your child, so be in touch with your doctor before doing this.
Things to remember :
- Don't smoke anywhere near your child.
- Don't exceed the recommended dosage commensurate with your child's age.
- If your child has reacted to a certain medicine, don't give him the same now.
- Don't give your child aspirin if he's under 20 years of age.
- Don't give your child naproxen if he is under 12 years of age.
RSV, as you can see, is very easily treatable, if only you know how. Now that you do, take steps to prevent such a condition.