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Immune Defense

Respiratory tract infections in children

Annette van Gessel & Marta Campbell
01.11.2017  10:52 Uhr

Sunny, warm days with periods of drizzle and heavy storms: typical autumn weather is a huge challenge for the immune system especially for  infants and young children. Their immune system must still learn to fend off different pathogens.

In the first years of life, our immune system step by step learns to deal with the various pathogens. Hence it is not surprising that babies and infants often suffer from a respiratory infection, some of them up to twelve times a year. In the course of the infection the nose becomes completely congested, the little ones can breathe only with difficulty, and due to the anatomical proximity earache often sets in too.

As parents want to prevent this condition from getting worse in the course of the infection, they immediately seek advice at a pharmacy. Before pharma­ceutical technicians or the pharmacist can recommend a remedy, they need to clarify if self-medication can be responsibly commended. Parents should immediately go and see a paediatrician if a baby has a temperature, or, in the case of elder children, if the temperature does not subside after two to three days.

When symptoms get worse, for example if a bad cough and difficulty in breathing set in, it is also necessary to see a doctor.


  • How long has your child had these symptoms?
  • Which symptoms are especially bad?
  • Does your child have a temperature, and if so how high is it?
  • How would you describe your child’s general condition?
  • Which other symptoms does your child have?
  • Does your child have earache?
  • In the past, what kind of remedy has helped your child once before?
  • Have you already given your child any medication?


  • Give your child sufficient fluid. You might for example offer a spoonful of herbal tea every few minutes.
  • To monitor the course of the infection, regularly check the child’s temperature.
  • A remedial bath for colds can ease the respiratory symptoms. This sometimes may however strain the blood circulation, so please consider the child’s state of health first. If the child has a temperature, a remedial bath is strictly not recommended.
  • Inhaling or embrocation with essential oils can also be helpful. Make sure the products are suited to children.
  • Let your child rest a lot, preferably bed rest. This helps the immune system.
  • If in the next few days, the symptoms do not improve or even get worse, for example due to a high temperature, please take your child to a doctor.


Deutsch / German Englisch / English
ätherische Öle essential oils, ethereal oils
Arztbesuch visit to the doctor
Atemnot difficulty in breathing
Beschwerden, Symptome complaints, symptoms
Bettruhe bed rest
Brusteinreibung chest embrocation
Erkältungsbad remedial bath for colds
Fieber messen measure the temperature
Halsschmerzen sore throat
Husten cough
Kinderarzt paediatrician
Körpertemperatur body temperature
Kräutertee herbal tea
Schlafzimmer bedroom
Vocabulary on respiratory tract infections