With the huge number of people coughing and sneezing on the buses and trains it’s safe to say that cold and flu season is well under way. While it is inevitable that we will all catch something that will leave us holed up in bed for a few days, it is important children and, particularly those under the age of six months, are protected from it.
The following tips and advice will provide adequate protection against colds and flu for your baby:
1. Wash your hands regularly
Make sure you use soap and warm water and dry them thoroughly with a clean towel.
2. Use an alcohol-based gel
If you are out and about it is important you keep your hands clean by using an alcohol-based sanitiser. Remember, if you pick up the flu virus you are increasing the risk of passing it onto your child.
3. Avoid sick people
Easier said than done when you are out and about, but it is important you ask people who are sick not to come to the house or go near your baby.
4. Ask someone to mind your child if you are sick
If you are unfortunate enough to catch something, try to get someone else to look after Baby if possible. This will hopefully stop them coming down with the same thing as you.
5. Continue to breastfeed
If you are sick it is ok to continue to breastfeed as your milk will pass antibodies from you to your baby. If you are too sick to feed, try pumping and ask a family member or friend to feed your baby.
6. Why are babies at risk?
Babies are at risk of complications from the flu as their immune systems are still developing. Those with chronic illness are at higher risk of developing something more serious.
What should you do if your baby does become ill?
If your baby is younger than three months it is important you call the doctor before the illness gets any worse; young infants are at risk of developing croup, pneumonia or other serious complications. Always call the doctor if they show no signs of improving or if you are worried in anyway.