5 Types of Respiratory Diseases for Babies

Aside from digestive system diseases, there are also other diseases that we should pay attention to. Respiratory diseases would be one of those.

Such disease includes influenza, pneumonia, bronchitis, common cold and acute tonsillitis. Let’s talk about the details of the respiratory diseases mentioned.

Usual Respiratory Diseases 


Causes and Symptoms

respiratory diseases

As the mucus in the respiratory system becomes infected with the influenza virus, it will be concealed for 1-3 days before appearing. Afterwards a high fever of 38-40 degrees will develop lasting for 2-3 days, there will be headache, body ache and the whole body will be in a state of depression.

Although this illness is similar to that of a common cold, in reality is a completely different illness. Complications arising from the influenza virus can even result in death. It is recommended to take preventative measures.

The influenza virus is rampant every year from November to December and from February to March. It is highly infectious and during severe times a hospital can be overrun with influenza patients.

The mucus in the nose, throat and other respiratory organs become inflamed. And then there will be coarse cough, swollen throat, sickness and diarrhea, eye hyperemia etc. There may also be a fever of around 40 degrees, and the body will shiver. It will resemble muscle ache after being beaten. Therefore, when lying down to change diapers or to feed, the baby will cry loudly. After 2-3 days the fever will start to diminish. If you ignore this condition, it may develop into throat inflammation, bronchitis, pneumonia, Otitis media, and associated complications can lead to death.

Care Points

● When influenza is circulating, avoid crowded places. After returning home, be sure to wash your hands and brush your teeth carefully.

Vaccinations are best administered between October to November, though any time from the end of September to the end of December is also effective. After 6 months old, the vaccine can be given by injection. Influenza vaccines are 80% effective, it is also good to vaccinate for otitis media at the same time.

● If there is fever, give an antipyretic, if there is a coarse cough or excess phlegm then drink plenty of water. Take medicine according to the condition.

● Just like the common cold, when infected, you must pay special attention to room temperature and dampness, it is also best to maintain a peaceful environment. The best form of treatment is plenty of rest, in doing so; it will also prevent other complications from arising.

● Carefully observe the baby’s condition. When digestion has improved, it is good to give a little food and hydrate with warm water.


Causes and Symptoms

This is one of the more severe types of the respiratory diseases. Typically it is a viral infection, but there are also cases of infection from mycoplasma pneumonia bacteria. When babies are infected, it will show as a cold, influenza, measles etc. along with other complications.

In some cases, none of the symptoms are severe and just resemble a simple common cold. However, there are cases so severe that it requires hospitalization. The initial symptoms are similar to a common cold but soon the cough will become more severe. The fever will continue or even break and then resurface a second time. If this is the case, pneumonia is indeed a worry. If your baby has a cold, loses their appetite and has no interest in playing, then it is likely a pneumonia infection.

The most noticeable symptoms of pneumonia are fever and cough. In severe cases, fever will be accompanied by painful breathing. This is the significant difference between pneumonia and the common cold. Additionally, the rate of breathing will increase to around 50 times per minute. The face, mouth, the tip of hands and feet may turn blue and then white.

If there is a severe cough it may result in vomiting, even more so for younger patients. There is increased phlegm and defecation that will resemble diarrhea. Though causes may be the same, symptoms may be different. First find the cause, identify the symptoms and treat accordingly.

Care Points

● There are some conditions that will require antibiotics, but these must be taken according to the instructions given, and it is very important that the complete course of medicine is taken. If the antibiotics are stopped when the condition starts to improve, the condition will increase in severity and the body will develop immunity to the medicine.

● Typically speaking, to treat viral pneumonia is a simple case of identifying the cause, so it is easy to have a complete recovery.

● The pneumonia vaccine is not needed to vaccinate against all types of pneumonia, but only those caused by streptococcus bacteria, therefore this vaccine is not considered as essential.


Causes and Symptoms

This disease is an inflammation of the extreme tip of the respiratory tract. Children less than 2 years old frequently suffer from this condition. Between 3 and 6 months old baby ages are especially at risk due to their bronchial tube being narrower. So even a little irritation or secretion can cause it to swell and lead to inflammation. This condition must be dealt with carefully. If left untreated, the child may suffer recurrently from bronchitis or even asthma.

Bronchitis is a highly infectious disease. It will give rise to many complications, most significant of which is a cold. At times of seasonal change or during the winter period of October to March, the rate of infection will be higher. 3-4 Days after suffering from a cold, other symptoms will appear: labored breathing, coarse cough, running nose and blocked nose. All of which causes breathing difficulties, therefore eating will also be troublesome.

Some, but not all patients will have fever. After becoming infected within 2-3 days the symptoms will become severe, then slowly improve. Due to breathing difficulties, the body’s internal hydration will be reduced, feeding will be poor and the child will appear dehydrated, complications may also lead to pneumonia.

Care Points

● Sometimes this condition will be so severe that it requires hospitalization. But with appropriate treatment, there is no need to worry. But please be aware that if you believe it to only be a cold and don’t seek treatment, it can develop into a long term pneumonia or asthma.

● At home, drink lots of water and use a humidifier to increase room moisture. You must ensure there is sufficient water intake which will help the phlegm to soften and be easier to expel. This will also reduce the irritation coughing has on the bronchial tract.

● When breathing is difficult, sit in an appropriate and quiet place. You could also raise the chest and head up 45 degrees, or arch the neck backwards. For coughing and breathing difficulties from phlegm congestion, you can gently pat on the back to provide relief.

Common Cold

Causes and Symptoms

This is the most common disorder of the respiratory system that arises from the inflammation of the area surrounding the nose and throat, so is also known as nasopharyngitis. It is easy to become infected due to the large temperature difference between day and night time. Children with weak immune systems are easy to become infected with otitis media, bronchitis, pneumonia and other complications. Thus, it is important to treat quickly, and provide thorough prevention.

Those infected will experience fever, swelling of the throat, running nose and coughs. Babies will also experience digestive system problems like vomiting and diarrhea. Therefore the common cold is easy to affect food intake, cause vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration and may even result in collapse.

Care Points

● If the body temperature exceeds 38 degrees, then it is best to take an antipyretic. If this is not effective, use a hot wet towel and wipe it all over the body. It is also beneficial to let the baby be soaked in a warm bath.

● If suffering from a coarse cough and heavily blocked nose, use a humidifier to help the room reach 50-70% humidity to relieve the breathing, drinking plenty of water is also important. When you first realize breathing is labored, use a cotton bud or nasal cleanser to remove the blockage. Please take care of using this device as it may injure the nostril.

● Cough and phlegm will cause the expulsion of harmful bacteria from the body, this is the body’s safeguard system, therefore taking arbitrary medicines to reduce cough and phlegm serves no purpose. Drinking plenty of warm water will ease coughing and will help dilute phlegm, making it easier to remove.

● If babies have no appetite, eat poorly or have sickness and diarrhea, it is best to feed them rice milk or other easy to digest foods.

● Wearing extra layers of thin clothing will enable you to adjust body temperature more easily. Hands should always be washed when returning home. Fresh air inside the home and a clean environment is also important.

Acute Tonsillitis

Causes and Symptoms

Acute tonsillitis is caused by an infection from streptococcus bacteria or a virus. It is most prevalent during season’s change. Especially if suffering with a heat cold, the neck will become swollen. At the same time the tonsils will become inflamed which is easy to develop into acute tonsillitis. There will be a sudden fever of between 39-40 degrees, along with head and muscle ache.

Newborns that are still drinking milk are unlikely to become infected. However, children over the age of 12 months old are more susceptible. If tonsils repeatedly become inflamed, it will cause the tonsils to enlarge and block the nose. That will force the sufferer to rely on the mouth to breathe, this in turn will make sleep problems. This will also hinder their physical growth and has an alternate name of gland hypertrophy. After the infection passes through the nose and throat, it may cause otitis media. This can cause sleep apnea syndrome. As you get older, the tonsils will grow smaller. So it is best to have surgery to remove it after 3-4 years old.

Care Points

● Go to a pediatric clinic to receive medical treatment, drink lots of water and take lots of rest.

● Eat soft, bland food. If the throat is inflamed, eat ice cream or other such cooling foods.

● Fever and muscle ache requires antibiotic treatment.

Final Say

Those are the respiratory diseases that we should pay attention to. We should do our best to take precautionary measures rather than wait for the disease to strike.


Editor in Babiology, mother of two, highly passionate about sharing the pregnancy care and post delivery care learning with the readers.

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