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Dr. Leah
Dr. Leah, Board Certified Pediatrician
Category: Paediatrics
Satisfied Customers: 199
Experience:  9 years of practice in Pediatrics
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Hi . My 11 month old is on her first day of a cold her breathing

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Hi . My 11 month old is on her first day of a cold her breathing is heavy due to her blocked but runny nose. I've tried to clean out her nose as much as possible . How ever I did rub a tiny bit of vid on her chest and back . Then in a matter of minutes I took it off with soap and water because I read that it can cause respiratory distress in infants. Do you think that I took it off in less than 5 min won't harm her?
Dr. Leah :

Hello and thank you for your question. I'm sorry to hear that your daughter is sick.

Dr. Leah :

There are 2 kinds of Vicks vaporub products: Baby Vicks and regular Vicks. If you used the Baby Vicks version, there is no cause for concern because this version does not contain camphor. Since you washed it off rather quickly, it is very unlikely any of the product was absorbed through her skin.

Dr. Leah :

I would not recommend using regular Vicks because it contains camphor. There are research studies which show that ingestion and some amount of skin absorption can be associated with liver or bone marrow toxicity. Since a baby has a large skin surface area/organ ratio, it is not recommended for use in infants. If this form of Vicks was what you used, your daughter should be fine since you washed it off of her skin.

Dr. Leah :

For her congestion, I would recommend using nasal saline and a bulb suction to help clear the nasal secretions when she is having difficulty breathing from it. A good time to do this is before a feeding or when she wakes from sleep. I would also recommend using a cool mist humidifier in her room during sleeping.

Dr. Leah :

Signs that she has more than just nasal congestion would be retractions (ribs pulling with each breath), increasing cough, and fever lasting more than a few days. If she has any of these symptoms, you should get her checked out by her pediatrician.

Dr. Leah :

If you have further questions when you return online, feel free to ask. I hope your daughter feels better soon!


Thank you very much.

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