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Self Care at Home for Babies

Steam Inhalation:
  • This can be done using a steam inhaler which is available at most pharmacies. Instructions should be there on the box.

    You can also use 5 cups of boiling water at home.

    Pour the water into a bowl. Add 2-3 drops of eucalyptus oil/ Vicks to the boiling water and then inhale the steam. Take care not to get too close to the boiling water. Cover your head and the bowl with a towel. Close your eyes. Breathe slowly. Do this for 5-10 minutes, twice a day. Stop immediately if you feel uncomfortable.

Salt water gargling:
  • Salt water gargling is a simple process which gives considerable relief in cases of cold and/or throat pain. Add a heaped Teaspoon full of salt into a glass [200ml] of water. The water should be warm. It should not be too hot. Gargling should only be done only 2-3 times per day. Too much gargling can worsen the problem.

    How it works: In a cold the throat is wet and swollen, which makes it ideal for bacteria/virus to breed. When you gargle with salt water the swelling is reduced [by the simple process of osmosis] and this also helps kill bacteria. If the symptoms do not improve in a couple of days please consult your doctor.

Tepid sponging:
  • Tepid sponging is the process of using cold water sponging to reduce the body temperature in cases of fever. It is especially helpful in the case of children. The entire body is sponged with cold water slowly. Beginning with the head and going down to the feet. It is very effective in bringing down the temperature in the first half an hour to one hour, of the fever. It is best used in combination with Paracetamol. This is only a measure for the temporary relief of fever. You should see a medical practitioner for further treatment if fever persists.

Ice/cold packs:
  • Ice and cold packs can relieve pain, swelling, and inflammation from injuries .It is best used immediately after an injury. The pack should be kept over the affected area for not more than 10 minutes at a time, for a maximum of 3 times a day. To make a pack, take a few cubes of ice and put them in a plastic bag. Always keep a cloth between the icepack and your body. You can also use a bag of frozen peas etc as a temporary cold pack. There are cold gel packs available at most pharmacies which can be reused.

Hot packs:
  • Hot packs can relief in cases of muscle/ joint stiffness or in the case of colds. You can use a towel dipped in hot water and then squeezed/ hot water bag or a commercial gel pack. The pack should not be kept for than five minutes at a time as it may cause scalding. It is also important to make sure it is not too hot before you apply it. Hot packs should not be used in the case of fresh injuries as it will increase the swelling.

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