Manage Your Child’s Care with MyChart
A URI, or upper respiratory infection, is an infection which can
lead to a runny nose and congestion. In a young infant, the small
size of the air passages through the nose and between the ear and
throat can cause problems not seen as often in larger children and
adults. Infants and young children average 6 to 10 upper
respiratory infections each year.
A URI can be caused by many different viruses. Your child may have
caught the virus from another person or got it from touching
something with the virus on it.
Symptoms may include:
Your child's healthcare provider will review the symptoms and may
look in your child's ears to make sure there is not an ear
infection. A sample of nasal secretions may be tested.
Because your baby has such small nasal air passages, congestion
and mucus can cause trouble breathing. Most babies do not eat well
when they are having trouble breathing. Use a small bulb and
saline drops to help clear the air passages. Put 1 drop of warm
water or saline into each nostril (one nostril at a time). Gently
remove the mucus with the bulb about a minute later. Your
healthcare provider can show you how this is done.
Antibiotics can kill bacteria, but not viruses. If your child has
a viral illness such as a URI, an antibiotic will not help. If
your child has an ear infection caused by bacteria, your
healthcare provider may prescribe an antibiotic to treat it.
A humidifier in your child's room may help. (The humidifier must
be cleaned every 2 to 3 days.)
Do not give a child under age 4 any cough and cold medicines
unless specifically instructed to do so by your healthcare
provider. These medicines may be dangerous in young children.
Never give honey to babies. Honey may cause a serious disease
called botulism in children less than 1 year old.
Symptoms usually begin 1 to 3 days after exposure to the virus,
and can last 1 to 2 weeks.
Call immediately if:
Call during office hours if: