To further relieve coughing and congestion, parents can try steam therapy. Use humidifiers or place a towel under the bathroom door, turn on the shower to create steam and sit with your child in the room for up to 20 minutes, Dr. Carter suggests. Try reading or playing a game with your child in the bathroom to help calm the child and achieve maximum benefit.
If your child exhibits any of these signs, seek prompt medical care:
- Trouble breathing (symptoms can include breathing more than 60 times per minute for a child younger than 1, nasal flaring, belly breathing or ribs pulling in with each breath)
- High fever
- Pale or bluish skin
- Flaring nostrils
- Dehydration (Children should be evaluated for dehydration if urine output falls below four urinations in 24 hours or if a patient goes greater than 12 hours between urinations while awake.)
- A fever that breaks and returns two days later (could be indicative of pneumonia or a secondary ear infection)
To reduce the spread of RSV, older kids with cold-like symptoms should be kept away from younger siblings and other children, especially babies, until symptoms have passed. Disinfect surfaces in the home and wash hands often.