Catching a cold

Catching a cold

How can my baby catch a cold?

  • With your baby’s immature immune system, he’s likely to get between 4 – 10 colds in his first year of life.
  • Your baby may come into contact with a cold virus by putting contaminated toys into his mouth.
  • Your baby may come into contact with other people who are carrying a cold virus.
  • During winter, indoor heating dries the nasal passages, which may make him more vulnerable to a cold virus.

The signs of a cold include:

  • A runny or congested nose
  • A clear nasal discharge that may become thicker and even turn green over the coming days
  • After being thick, the discharge becomes runny and clear again
  • A low grade temperature during the first 48 hours
  • Sneezing, coughing, red and watery eyes
  • A hoarse voice

When should I see a doctor?

  • If your baby has temperature above 37.5ºC and is less than 3 months old
  • If the symptoms of a cold persist for over a week
  • If your baby begins to wheeze or gasp for air
  • If your baby begins to pull on his ears
  • If you are at all concerned with the health of your baby.

Healthline is a free, 24 hour, 7 days a week service available to parents and caregivers. If you have a concern you would like to discuss call 0800 611 116 free from landlines and cell phones.

Common Sense Advice. Share your experiences, tips and advice on the Kidspot Forum.


This article was written by Ella Walsh for Kidspot. Sources include SA Government’s Parenting and Child Health.

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