What causes coughs and colds?
Hundreds of different viruses can cause an upper respiratory tract infection (the medical name for a cough or cold). These are all passed on through coughs, sneezes or contact with contaminated surfaces. What are the symptoms for coughs and colds? ‘A runny or blocked nose, high temperature, cough, pimply rash, even sickness and diarrhoea,’ says Dr Martin Ward Platt, consultant paediatrician at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary. What treatment can I do if my baby has a cough or cold? Give your baby plenty of fluids and rest. If he is very uncomfortable or the fever is high (over 38°C), you can give him infant paracetamol or ibuprofen to bring the temperature down. ‘Fever is the body’s natural response to bugs,’ says Martin. ‘It pumps up the immune system to fight the virus.’ Soothe your baby by gently sponging him with tepid water. A baby with a blocked nose may struggle to feed. ‘Try a saline spray or drops to dilute and loosen the mucus,’ says consultant ear, nose and throat surgeo