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Cold & Cough
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 Frequently Asked Questions

Q: My 2-year old daughter gets a blocked nose very frequently. She also spits out a lot of mucous frequently (especially after burping).

Swati (Mumbai, India)

A: You can use NAso clear drops 2 to 3 drops every 2 hourly.

Dr. Subba Rao

Q: My 2 year old baby boy has had a cough and cold for the past week 10 days. My doctor has prescribed Triatussic syrup. He has a bit of throat infection and had a mild fever today. I have given him Crocin drops. What else should I give him to control his cough since Triatussic seems to be ineffective?

Vaijanti (Calcutta, India)

A: I think your child has an allergic bronchitis. Give him syr.Derryphyllin 5 ml three times a day for 1 week and report back to me.

Dr. Subba Rao

Q: My baby boy has cold since 3 weeks and it is not subsiding . Our pediatrician gave him antibiotic and Nasal drops (Nasoclear) I guess due to winter the cold is not subsiding. He has cold in the Evenings , nights and early mornings. Day time his nostrils look clear. And he has no cough or fever till now. Yesterday night he had very bad cough through out night . I am giving him banana but stopped it ever since he has cold . Can I give my baby banana / orange juice when he has cold ? What foods should be avoided when a baby has cold ? Can we do head bath for him every alternate days ? Also in winter what is the kind of skin care to be taken ? Can we do massage with besan daily in winter ? Can we give Ragi / dry dates juice in winter?

Amena (Ajmer, India)

A: Give him some antihistamines like Alerid for 5 days. There is no need for food restrictions. Head bath can be given once a week. Besan is good for skin.

Dr. Subba Rao

Q: My two year old daughter constantly suffers from cough and cold. She starts with a slight cough which soon develops into congestion. In fact she has been hospitalized twice for this problem. I take care in terms of not letting her have cold food stuff or letting her out in the cold without adequate protection.But she does not seem to outgrow this problem. We give her Asthalin/ Albutamol when she has congestion. What else can I do to help her and Is there any preventive medicine that will help her build her resistance and fight these infections?

Paribi (Mumbai, India)

A: The description that you have gives suggests that your child is suffering from some kind of allergic bronchitis. Is there any family member who is suffering from Asthma or any kind of allergy? Then most likely your child is suffering from asthma.( mild variety). Having this in mind it is better the child is under regular follow up with a pediatric pulmonologist in your city. There is no link between food and the child's condition.

Dr. Subba Rao

Q: My baby is 2 years old and is very prone to cold and cough. What can I do?

Sneha (London, U.K)

A: Children are prone to respiratory infection. They get it about 6-8 times a year. Most of these are viral infections and need only symptomatic treatment. I am sure you would be doing everything to prevent your children from catching a cold, but if you are worried, have your baby checked with your pediatrician to find out whether she has got low immunity.

Dr. Balasubramanian

Q: My 4 years old daughter keeps catching a cold because of severe cold in Conecticut. We have immunised her against flu, but the common cold is quite troublesome. Please suggest some effective and safe remedy for this.

Sam (Conecticut, USA)

A: Your child is suffering from allergic rhinitis. There is no permanent cure for the same. Get it treated as and when it comes. Feed her soup, plenty of liquids and Vitamin C. The allergy could be due to atmospheric pollution which intensifies in the winter. Make sure she is well clad in the cold climate.

Dr. Subba Rao

Q: My one-year old daughter often contracts cold. It starts with a running nose and a thick mucous develops later. She has been administered antibiotics 4 times and antihistamines 8 times. She has had temperature about 2-3 times this year. Is there a chance of her developing bronchitis?

Pratik (Goa, India)

A: Your child is suffering from allergic rhinitis. There is no permanent cure for it. Avoid unnecessary antibiotic use. Don't worry about her temperature or his cold. Keep her away from allergens like dust.

Dr. Subba Rao

Q: My child makes a snoring sound when she is sleeping. She is also a restless sleeper. She doesn't have a cold, but sneezes once in a while. Should I show her to a doctor? Could she have chest congestion or some other respiratory problem?

Anisha (Sharjah, UAE)

A: Your child may have an obstructed nose. Use saline nasal drops (1 to 2 drops every 2 hours). If the problem persists, get in touch with your doctor.

Dr. Subba Rao

Q: My son seems to be suffering from regular bouts of cold. We treat him with antibiotics and he is alright for two or three days and then he immediately develops another attack. He has some breathing problems and He coughs and cries a lot during the night. Is there any alternate treatment for colds? Are natural medicines or homeopathic medicines effective?

Aparna (Jamnagar, Gujrat )

A: Your child seems to be suffering from some form of an allergy. She requires anti-allergic treatment and not antibiotics. Get in touch with a good paediatrician to get it treated.

Dr. Subba Rao

Q: My baby's nose keeps running, or it is blocked. He seems to be constantly releasing phlegm. I am worried that this may lead to Asthma.

Riyaa (Virginia Beach, USA)

A: It is quite common for infants to have blocked nose and noisy breathing when the weather changes. It is quite unlikely if he has got phlegm in chest. If he has been seen by a doctor and he is not bothered then there is no need to worry. You could probably use some saline drops for his nose, which might unblock the nose. I can reassure you that this will not lead to Asthma, as Asthma is not an infection.

Dr. Balasubramanian

Q: My baby is 4 months old. How can I cure my daughter's cough? It is a dry cough.

Flaura (Snowdon, U.K)

A: Give your child some broncho dilators in consultation with your pediatrician.

Q: My son is 2 years old. He catches cold and cough very often, and snores during sleep. How can I overcome this situation? I give him Seven Seas and other multi-vit syrups.

Saheda (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia )

A: Up to 10 infections per year are common in growing children. Try giving your child steam inhalation every day. If his nose gets blocked, give your child saline nasal drops.

Q: My 5 months old daughter suffers from recurring cough, and is not eating any solids. She takes liquids, but is prone to vomiting. Her cough recurs every 15-20 days.

Pania (Mumbai, India)

A: I think your child is suffering from allergic bronchitis. Get in touch with your paediatrician and get it treated.

Q: My child catches a cold and cough very fast. He is 2 years old. He seems to constantly have a running nose. He was prescribed Nablizer along with other medicines, but though he gets okay, he's down with a cold again a few days later. I am trying home remedies like honey. Apart from this, what should I do so that I don't have to give him so many antibiotics and alopathy medicines?

Prabha (Mumbai, India)

A: Children get respiratory infections at least 4-5 times a year. Most of them are caused by viruses and there is no treatment for them. Medicines just give you relief, but they are not a cure. If your child is running temperature, you can give him Calpol. There is no need for antibiotics. But, if he needs Nebulizer, I presume he has wheezing as well. Most children develop wheezing during these episodes and find it difficult to breathe (like asthmatics). But, this does not mean your child is asthmatic. However, he needs the same medicines asthmatics do. He might probably need the same medicine used in Nebulizer but in inhaler form. They are called bronchodilators and relax the airways which are narrowed by the infection. But children cannot use the inhalers like adult asthmatics do. You will need to buy a spacer and a mask, and use them with the inhalers. Your child can use these inhalers with spacers at home whenever he finds it difficult to breathe, or when he coughs or wheezes so much that it's affecting his sleep. If anyone in your family has asthma, he is likely to get it. But, there is nothing to worry about. With regular use of bronchodilators you can control asthma. Please contact your paediatrician regarding this. It is also important that your child does not have any other chest diseases.

Dr. Balasubramanian

Q: My child is suffering from an extremely severe cold and dry cough. He is 9 months old. Every time he coughs, he cries. We live in Delhi, where the climate is warm. Why has he caught a cold? Is it due to the food I consume (like dahi, chaas, cucumber)? Is it caused by the pollution?

Lata (Delhi, India)

A: Your child seems to be suffering from allergic bronchitis. It is unlikely to be caused by the food you eat. It is more likely to be caused by pollution.

Q: My 2 year old baby gets a cold and cough very frequently. He still has a cold, even after completing a 2 week course of antibiotics. I do not bottle feed him. What should I do to cure his cough and cold?

Maitri (Noida, India)

A: Most children get 6-8 respiratory infections a year, as their immune system has yet not matured. Most of these are viral infections, and you cannot do anything about them. Antibiotics will not cure them. Simply give your child paracetamol when she has fever. Sometimes these viral infections knock down the immunity further, making them susceptible to secondary bacterial infections, which is when antibiotics should be prescribed. Babies normally treble their birthweight by the age of 1.

Dr. Balasubramanian

Q: My son is very prone to colds. Last winter he had a cold throughout the season. He was constantly on allopathy and antibiotic medication. The doctor prescribed some anti-allergy medicines after which he was okay, but now, with the change in weather, he has got a cold again. Also, he gets a stomach upset almost every month and passes stool 7-8 times after every milk feed. My doctor says he is lactose intolerant and is unable to digest milk however, my child wants milk. What should I do? I don't get time to look after my baby as I am working.

Pritika (Bhuj, India)

A: I think it is more the feeling that you are not able to look after your baby which makes you worry. Passing a few more stools is normal. Frequent coughs and colds could be due to weather changes and pollution, and are normal as well. Don't worry. Keep in touch with your doctor and follow his advice. Give him less milk if he is lactose intolerant.

Q: My 8 months old son often suffers from a bad cold, cough and chest infection. What should I do to protect him?

Samantha (California, USA)

A: I think your child has allergic bronchitis, consult your local doctor for a suitable remedy.

Dr. Subba Rao

Q: My son has cold and cough. He sneezes and expels mucus. What should I do?

Pallavi (Chennai, India)

A: Occasional cough and cold in a small baby need not be treated.

Dr. Subba Rao

Q: My 1 year old baby girl has had a cough and cold for the past week 10 days. My doctor has prescribed Triatussic syrup. She has a bit of throat infection and had a mild fever today. I have given her Crocin drops. What else should I give her to control her cough since Triatussic seems to be ineffective?

Megha (Jallandar, India)

A: I think your child has an allergic bronchitis. Give her syr.Derryphyllin 5 ml three times a day for 1 week and report back to me.

Dr. Subba Rao

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