Risk factorsBy Mayo Clinic staff
A few factors put infants at higher risk of common colds.
- Immature immune systems. Infants are, by nature, at risk of common colds because they haven't yet been exposed to or developed resistance to most of the viruses that cause them.
- Exposure to other children. Infants tend to spend lots of time with other children, and children aren't always careful about washing their hands and covering their coughs and sneezes. So, if your baby is in child care or has an older, school-age brother or sister in the house, your baby may have a higher risk of catching a cold.
- Time of year. Both children and adults are more susceptible to colds in fall and winter, when the air is dry. Children are in school and most people are spending a lot of time indoors, which can make germs easier to spread from person to person.
- Turner RB. The common cold. In: Kliegman RM, et al. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics, 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2007. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/213489709-9/1035772701/1608/893.html#4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-2450-7..50378-9--cesec20_7357. Accessed Aug. 6, 2010.
- Pappas DE, et al. The common cold in children. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Aug. 6, 2010.
- Pappas DE, et al. The common cold. In: Long SS, et al., eds. Long: Principles and Practice of Pediatric Infectious Diseases. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/213489709-15/1035783082/167 9/32.html#4-u1.0-B978-0-443-06687-0..50031-X_735. Accessed Aug. 6, 2010.
- Turner RB. The common cold. In: Mandell GL, et al. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 76th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2009. http://www.mdconsult.com/book/player/book.do?method=display&type=bookPage&decorator=header&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-443-06839-3..00053-9&uniq=212417556&isbn=978-0-443-06839-3&sid=1032726390. Accessed Aug. 3, 2010.
- Facts about the common cold. American Lung Association. http://www.lungusa.org/lung-disease/influenza/in-depth-resources/facts-about-the-common-cold.html. Accessed Aug. 6, 2010.
- Symptom relief. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/getsmart/antibiotic-use/symptom-relief.html. Accessed Aug. 6, 2010.
- Public health advisory: FDA recommends that over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold products not be used for infants and children under 2 years of age. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PublicHealthAdvisories/ucm051137.html. Accessed Aug. 6, 2010.
- Cough suppressant and pharmacologic protussive therapy: ACCP evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. Northbrook, Ill.: The American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP). http://www.guideline.gov/summary/summary.aspx?doc_id=8675&nbr=4840&ss=6&xl=999. Accessed Aug. 6, 2010.
- When to call the baby's doctor: Print-and-go guide. National Women's Health Information Center. http://www.womenshealth.gov/pregnancy/mom-to-be-tools/when-call-baby-doctor.pdf. Accessed Aug. 6, 2010
- What to do in a medical emergency: Fever. American College of Emergency Physicians. http://www.emergencycareforyou.org/EmergencyManual/WhatToDoInMedicalEmergency/Default.aspx?id=242&terms=fever. Accessed Aug. 6, 2010.
- Hoecker JL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 8, 2010.