Is it possible to wash a child with a cough and runny nose?

Runny nose and swimming

Among young mothers, there is an opinion that even hygienic water procedures for a runny nose can worsen the baby’s condition and cause an increase in symptoms. But in most cases this is not the case. If you have a runny nose, you can and even need to bathe your baby, because the skin of small children should always be clean.

A child with a cold often experiences increased sweating, which means that regular hygiene procedures are simply necessary. But it is important to consider one point. You can bathe a child with a runny nose only if he does not have a high fever.

If this indicator is within the normal range, then there is no need to refuse to take a bath; cleansing the skin during a cold will only benefit the baby.

When bathing a child with a runny nose, you must follow several rules:

  • measure the baby's body temperature;
  • the temperature of the water for swimming during the period of colds and runny nose should be slightly higher (2-3°) than usual;
  • there should be no drafts in the room where swimming will take place;
  • the air temperature in the bathing room and the room in which the child will be after the procedure should be the same;
  • After performing water procedures, a cold child should be quickly dried and put on warm clothes (socks are a must).

After bathing and treating the skin, you need to place the baby under a warm blanket, this will help avoid possible hypothermia. It is best to bathe your child before bed.

A sick baby with a runny nose should wash the hair only if necessary, but if possible, it is better to postpone this procedure until recovery or try to quickly dry the baby’s hair. Wet hair during a runny nose can significantly worsen the symptoms of the disease.

When is it forbidden to bathe a child with a runny nose?

If a child has a high body temperature, then swimming is strictly prohibited!

Bathing is not only useful, but also an interesting procedure for a child. There are times when bathing a child with a cold and other accompanying symptoms is harmful. Such cases are:

  • Increased body temperature.
  • Headache.
  • Body aches and poor health.

If the child is lethargic and capricious, then it is better to postpone bathing. The baby should spend some time in bed. If necessary, you can wipe the skin with wet wipes or a slightly wet towel. In any case, it is necessary to monitor the baby’s condition and, if possible, refrain from water procedures.

If you plan to bathe your child, you should definitely take the temperature. If it exceeds 37.5 degrees, then swimming is prohibited. This can further aggravate the baby’s condition. Bathing after a cold should last no more than 2-3 minutes. Gradually the duration of water procedures is increased. If there are skin diseases, then bathing is also not carried out. All these points need to be known and remembered so as not to harm the child.

Useful video - How to properly treat a child’s runny nose:

What to put in a child’s nose for a runny nose: medicines and folk remedies

How to prepare a bath

In order for a baby’s bath, in addition to the hygienic effect, to also have health benefits, it is necessary to add sea salt to the water without dyes or flavors. Salt must be natural.

To prepare the solution you will need half a kilogram for a large bath. The effect of sea salt on a runny nose has been known for a very long time. It is this solution that is often used to rinse the nose and throat during the period of illness with any acute respiratory infections.

When bathing in such a bath, the baby will inhale vapors of sea salt, which will have not only an antibacterial, but also an anti-inflammatory effect on his body.

Adding decoctions of medicinal herbs to the water , which should be poured before immersing in the bath, has an excellent effect. The vapors emanating from such water during bathing will have a kind of inhalation effect and will help cope with a runny nose, improving the general condition of the baby.

You can add decoctions of chamomile, string, calendula, coltsfoot and many other herbs to your baby’s bath. But before bathing your baby in herbs, you need to consult with your local doctor and find out if the child has any contraindications to such procedures.

To swim or not to swim – how relevant is this question?

In fact, the problem with swimming when you have a runny nose is overblown. Worried parents tear pediatricians away from TV in the evenings, and especially restless patients rack their brains for several days to determine whether water procedures will lead to an exacerbation of the disease.

So, the process of bathing itself has no effect on a runny nose. The fact that a person wets himself, soaps his body and washes off the soap, the nasal mucosa will not notice. This is true for both adults and children.

Simply put, the body with rhinitis is absolutely indifferent whether the act of washing the body occurs or not. This is important only for the person himself who wants to be clean and smell good. This is even more important for parents of a snotty child: when bathing and splashing water in the baby, the snot softens, liquefies, and water entering the nose causes natural sneezing and the removal of a large amount of mucus. For a runny nose, this effect is very useful: the mother then does not have to torment the child with an aspirator or bulb.

This means that if you want to wash when you have a runny nose, you can do it. You can also bathe the child if circumstances require it (see example in the photo below).

This is the case when you have to swim regardless of the presence of a runny nose and the wishes of the parents.

And vice versa: if there is no desire to get into the bath or take a shower, then you can safely not do it. And you can also safely not bathe a child with snot if he categorically does not want to bathe.

Children and adults can take water procedures for a runny nose of any nature:

  1. With obvious signs of ARVI, even when the patient has a slightly elevated temperature. Warming the body in warm (not hot!) water will be useful in this case. The effect of moist air in the bathroom on the nasal mucosa will also be useful;
  2. In the recovery phase after an illness, when there is no longer a fever, and only snot and cough remain.

The parainfluenza viral particle is a common culprit of acute infectious rhinitis.

All this is true for a simple home bath in water at a comfortable temperature and lasting about 10-15 minutes. At the same time, some types of bathing with a runny nose are not recommended.

It is also useful to read: Reasons for the development of a constant runny nose and possible consequences if the pathology is not eliminated in time

What not to do

When deciding to bathe a sick baby, you should follow not only the rules described above, but also some restrictions. Before performing water procedures, a sick child is prohibited from:

  • give any medications immediately before bathing;
  • Give the baby plenty of water and any liquid in large quantities;
  • feed.

Drinking liquid, as well as medications, can provoke an attack of nausea in the baby during bathing. This is especially true for children who actively play in the bath. It is better to feed the baby after water procedures, about an hour later.

Can a child go to the steam room with a runny nose?

Before going to the bathhouse with a child with a runny nose, you need to consult a pediatrician and weigh the pros and cons. For children under three years of age, the bathhouse is completely contraindicated. In the first years of life, babies have a completely different thermoregulation system, sweat glands are not yet developed, and mucous membranes function differently.

adhere to contraindications; do not steam for too long; do not use excessively high temperatures; ensure warmth and rest after the procedure.

It is important to remember that the child’s body is susceptible to the emergence and spread of various types of infections. Therefore, even simple rhinitis after a bath can cause complications.

The bathhouse is a universal means of healing that has a beneficial effect on the body as a whole. Since ancient times, bath procedures were considered a real panacea against colds.

The therapeutic effect of the bath is due to the destructive effect of high temperature on pathogenic microorganisms. Hot steam helps open skin pores, remove dirt and toxins from them, and cleanse the skin of microparticles of dying cells. In addition, such thermal procedures perfectly stimulate blood circulation and increase tone. The hot air in the steam room causes many physiological processes to occur at a higher speed.

If you have a cold accompanied by a runny nose, you can and even need to go to the bathhouse. However, like any treatment, bath therapy requires a competent approach and adherence to certain rules for visiting the bath during illness.

Is it possible to swim in a pond or pool if you have a runny nose?

During the period of a cold, you must refrain from swimming in pools, as well as in reservoirs, for many reasons, for example:

  • through water, a sick baby can infect other children;
  • Swimming in a pool or pond always involves swimming. A baby’s breathing during a runny nose is greatly complicated, and swimming creates an additional and serious load on the child’s entire respiratory system, which can cause an attack of suffocation or loss of consciousness due to lack of oxygen in the body.

There is an opinion among parents that a child who has caught a cold and has a runny nose should be steamed in a bathhouse. This should not be done under any circumstances. This is especially true for small children and infants.

The temperature in the bathhouse differs sharply from what is usual for the child, and this can cause overheating and cause serious harm to the body. In addition, after a bath, a sick child will fall into the cold; the difference in air temperature can cause many complications.

It is better to postpone visits to the bathhouse until the baby has fully recovered and use such procedures in the future as a means of hardening and strengthening the immune system.

Author: Vaganova Irina Stanislavovna, doctor

A few recommendations

A rather difficult situation is bathing an infant who has a runny nose in response to chlorine in tap water. This case, by the way, is not so rare: the noses of babies very often actively react to traces of chlorine.

In such a situation, before bathing, the water must either be boiled to get rid of chlorine, or left for 24 hours before bathing the baby. The use of potassium permanganate, herbal solutions or other disinfectants removes chlorine from water too slowly.

On a note

A child's reaction to chlorine is not an allergy - it is simply irritation of the sensitive mucous membranes with a caustic substance. Over time, the baby gets used to this irritant, and his runny nose stops. In extremely rare cases, a child may develop an allergy to chlorine, which will lead to worse rhinitis throughout his life when using, for example, chlorine-containing cleaning products.

Good water filters purify it not only from chlorine, but also from other substances that can have a negative impact on health.

In any case, you should bathe a child with a runny nose in warm water - more than 30°C. Infants with snot are bathed at a water temperature 2-3°C higher than the one to which they are already accustomed. It is advisable to bathe the smallest children as quickly as possible and only to wash them.

Similarly, adults are recommended to swim at a comfortable water temperature. And various experiments with hardening can be carried out when the runny nose is finally over.

After bathing, it is necessary to wipe the child’s skin dry and wrap it in a warm cloth so that the baby does not get hypothermia and the disease does not worsen.

After swimming, you should immediately dry yourself with a towel and get dressed. After the procedure, children are wrapped in a towel, warmed, fed and put to bed.


You can bathe yourself or your child with a runny nose. In this case, bathing should be just swimming - in normal warm water in order to wash the body. It is not recommended to take a steam bath, harden yourself or exercise in water if you have snot and a stuffy nose.

Is it possible to bathe a child during illness: doctor’s comments

Indications and contraindications

During a cold, taking a bath or shower is not at all contraindicated, but it is worth noting that in addition to cough or rhinitis, there may be other symptoms in which water procedures may be completely prohibited. The baby should not take a bath if the temperature is too high, or elevated to thirty-eight degrees, which lasts for a long time. If a child has a high temperature in the evening, but it has returned to normal in the morning, it is better to play it safe and wait a while (at least a day) to make sure that no exacerbations occur. There are also other contraindications to bathing when coughing:

  • presence of diabetes mellitus;
  • diagnosed diseases of the circulatory system, as well as suspicions of them;
  • poor general health of the young patient;

If the child’s health status raises any suspicions among the parents, it is worth consulting with a doctor about water procedures and their implementation. Most often, when a simple cough with a runny nose occurs without an increase in body temperature, taking a bath or shower is not at all prohibited, and will even promote a speedy recovery. It is recommended to take short baths if the following symptoms occur:

  • poor sputum discharge;
  • nasal congestion;
  • muscle pain;
  • headache;
  • poor health, weakness.

But if the baby has purulent inflammatory processes, warming procedures should be completely canceled in order to avoid serious complications and deterioration in the baby’s general health.

When a child has a cold, before starting water procedures in this state, it is worth familiarizing yourself with some rules:

  • Your baby should be bathed in water slightly warmer than his own body temperature to prevent overheating.
  • When a runny nose occurs, you can take a bath and shower. It should be noted that during a cold, the child’s body weakens, so it may be difficult for him to stand in the shower for a long time, so it is better to reduce his time to ten minutes. You can take a bath until the temperature of the water drops to thirty-three degrees.
  • If a cold occurs during the warm season, a shower is not only allowed, it is simply necessary to prevent overheating of the body.
  • When bathing during a cold, you should not get your hair wet, especially if it is long, as it takes a lot of time to dry, which can lead to hypothermia in the child and an increase in body temperature.
  • It is best to take a bath before bed; this will help calm your baby and set him up for a sound sleep.

Such simple rules will definitely not harm the baby, but still, if symptoms occur in the form of a cough or runny nose, it is necessary to first examine the little patient with a pediatrician and rule out the possibility of serious illnesses. A qualified medical professional will not only tell you whether it is possible to bathe a child with a cough and runny nose without fever, but will also give all the necessary recommendations for his speedy recovery.

Before giving a bath to a child with a cough, parents should definitely note several important factors:

  1. the cause of the cough;
  2. character of cough;
  3. baby's age;
  4. individual characteristics of the body;
  5. general well-being of the child.

First of all, you need to understand what caused the cough, because a cold is not always the cause. The cough may be caused by an allergy, such as to pets or food. In infants, coughing can be triggered by teething; in this case, the child may experience excessive salivation, and the body, through the cough reflex, will simply remove unnecessary moisture from the body. Also, cough often occurs in children with heart disease, as well as impaired functioning of the nervous system or digestion. Therefore, before bathing a child with a cough, you should definitely be examined in a hospital setting and consult a doctor.

Bathing rules for various diseases

As already mentioned, cough can be a consequence of the development of several types of respiratory diseases at once. Therefore, before washing a small child, you need to make sure that there are no serious pathologies or disturbances in the functioning of the endocrine and cardiovascular systems. To prevent complications, during hygiene procedures you need to pay attention to the following rules:

Type of diseaseCharacteristic symptomsBathing rules
ARVImalaise headaches cough rhinitisYou can swim only 4-5 days after infection, the optimal water temperature is 36-37 °C, it is advisable to add essential oils of eucalyptus, pine needles and sea salt to the water
gastroesophageal refluxmorning cough, regurgitation of food, sore throatwashing is carried out as usual, it is recommended to add a decoction of medicinal chamomile to the water
bronchitis and tracheitiswheezing when breathing, spasmodic cough, difficulty breathingYou can only shower and only for hygienic purposes
nasopharyngitisbarking cough sore throat severe runny nose decreased appetiteSwimming is allowed only during the recovery period; the duration of water procedures should not exceed 5 minutes
pneumoniapersistent cough difficulty breathing low-grade fever severe chest painat the stage of exacerbation of the disease, water procedures are replaced with wet rubdowns; swimming is possible only during the recovery period

It is recommended to put your child to bed immediately after showering to prevent hypothermia. It is recommended to lubricate the feet and chest with warming ointment beforehand. However, it should be noted that the use of reflex drugs is allowed only if the child does not have a high fever.

How to turn a bath into a wellness treatment

Experts recommend turning pleasant moments of swimming into effective health-improving manipulations. Are baths so beneficial without additional ingredients? For example, hardening should be carried out after the final recovery of a small patient.

Bathing water for children with rhinitis should contain:

  • Decoctions of medicinal herbs. Chamomile, coltsfoot, and thyme are widely used. An experienced pediatrician will tell you what decoctions are added to a newborn’s bath to eliminate the symptoms of rhinitis.
  • Sea salt without dyes or flavors. A solution prepared using table salt will also work. While the baby splashes, water invariably enters the nasal cavity. The result will be its purification.

Opening the bathroom door will provide fresh air. It will stimulate the activity of the immune system. Sea salt or herbal infusions should be added immediately before immersion. This will preserve the beneficial properties of medicinal plants as much as possible and provide a healing effect.

Is it possible to bathe a child

Of course, this is a whole string of feelings of joy and happiness - the appearance of a long-awaited baby after months of anticipation. But there is also a feeling of self-doubt, fear of new things, and especially fear of harming the baby. This is absolutely normal, and every day, along with experience, confidence in your actions will come. One of the very first questions that arises is whether it is possible to bathe the baby during this period. Experts note that this is allowed for the baby on the very first day you come home with him. As for the time for carrying out this procedure, it does not play a special role, it is only important to do it at the same time.

    First, prepare all the necessary things, and be sure to ask someone close to you to help you. So, let's start in order:
  • The water must be strictly boiled, this is only necessary for up to a month. The fact is that the umbilical wound does not heal immediately, and the necessary safety measures must be taken. Boil some water in advance and cool it to about thirty-eight degrees.
  • Make sure that the room where you are swimming is free of drafts, warm enough, and easy to approach from all sides without obstructions.
  • And finally, prepare clothes for the baby in advance, namely, two diapers, two vests, a diaper and a cap. For the most suitable convenience, place everything in order of putting on on the table nearby.

Prevention of runny nose in infants

In order for a child to develop strong immunity, special conditions are needed. And not at all greenhouse. The defensive forces work fully and stably if they are accustomed to fighting. This means that the child needs to be moderately hardened from birth. Let's see further how Dr. Komarovsky suggests doing this.

And simple tips are effective as preventative actions against runny nose in infants:

  • air humidification,
  • ventilation of the room,
  • frequent and long walks,
  • sufficient drinking (in addition to breast milk, babies can drink boiled water, older children can drink dried fruit compotes, chamomile and rosehip infusions),
  • light, comfortable clothing that allows the skin to breathe and the baby to move actively,
  • in the off-season, avoid high-risk public places.

All children, one way or another, get sick. You should not be afraid of a runny nose, but try to prevent it and at the same time prepare the baby’s body for such a shake-up. The main thing for health is not the absence of diseases as such, but the reaction to illness and the level of resistance.

To protect your child from constant, lingering rhinitis, Komarovsky recommends:

  • don't wrap the baby up
  • create conditions for physical activity,
  • don't be afraid of drafts,
  • bathe a healthy child in cool water,
  • provide clean, moist air in the apartment,
  • walk often and for a long time in any weather (choosing the right clothes!),
  • do not abuse antibiotics and use them only as prescribed by a doctor (this also applies to other medications),
  • build the right regime for the child and follow it,
  • avoid contact with allergens,
  • do not introduce new foods into the diet until 6-9 months, if the baby is breastfed and the mother eats well.

Let's summarize. If an infant has nasal discharge, but there are no other signs of a cold, this is not a reason to refuse bathing. On the contrary, by bathing the baby, you will alleviate his condition. But runny noses in infants require utmost attention; maintain maximum vigilance until the nose is completely cleared.

The content of the article

Is it possible to bathe a child with a cough and runny nose without fever? According to experts, water procedures cannot harm the health of a small patient. But immediately after taking a bath, the risk of hypothermia and, as a result, decreased immunity increases.

It is the decrease in the body's resistance, caused by overheating and hypothermia, that can provoke an exacerbation of cough and runny nose in a child. From the article you will learn in what situations you can resort to water procedures, and when it is better to refuse swimming.

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