• 15 Jun - 21 Jun, 2024
  • Mag The Weekly

Dubbing air pollution as one of the leading killers of children worldwide, the study throws light on how children are more susceptible to air pollution during their fetal development and in their earliest years. And that's because children breathe faster than adults. With AQI (Air Quality Index) being poor and onset of winters, we frequently encounter outpatient and emergency visits to the hospital of babies presenting with coughs and colds. Some recommendations in which you can protect your baby from the current scenario include.

Continue Breastfeeding

If you are breastfeeding, please continue to breastfeed even if you or your baby or both have a cold/cough. Frequent handwashing and wearing a mask during breastfeeding can help if you as a mother are suffering from cold/cough. Breastfeeding builds immunity and offers protection against number of illnesses.

Humidification of the room

Dry air is a common problem in the current weather and breathing becomes comfortable if air is humidified. Simple measures like keeping the hot shower open to make the bedroom air moist, keeping a

steamer on (taking care its further away from the baby to avoid burns etc), Humidifiers can help.

Oil based heaters

They are preferred to electric ones, also ensure its placed further away from the baby.

Nasal saline drops

One drop each nostril 10 minutes prior to feeds usually help with most colds in babies. These can be given upto 4-6 times a day for the period of illness but do consult your pediatrician before administering them.

Keep the home environment clean

It is important to keep the home as much dust free as possible. Avoid stuffed toys etc as they gather dust and are hard to disinfect.

Avoid multiple visitors at home

Avoid too many visits by relatives etc in the first few months, later on with routine immunizations baby maybe able to fight infections better.

Avoid crowded places

Do take the baby out for a walk but avoid times when the places are likely to be crowded.



• Temperature >100 degrees F in a baby less than 3 months old

• Cold hands and feet – are an early sign of infection

• Hands and feet should always be pink and warm

• Poor Feeding – If your baby starts to feed less than usual

• Reduced wet diapers – Passing urine regularly is important so if your baby does not have good 4-6 wet diapers (roughly one every 3-4 hours) then it is a sign your baby may be dehydrated

• Increased work of breathing – If the baby is breathing noisily /heavily (area below and between the chest ribcage going in and out /nodding of head etc) then they might be struggling

• Bluish tinge around lips/tongue -In Asian babies, low oxygen saturations might reflect as blackish discolouration of lips/tongue as opposed to bluish.

• Any other concerns -Rash, vomiting, diarrhoea etc