Coraline's first cold
We recently had the go ahead from Coraline’s Cardiologist to take her out to baby groups as she would be strong enough to deal with an infection.
She promptly got her first cold at nine months old. And we are proud to say she has fought it off! Apparently until about this time she was covered by our immunity with my pregnancy antibodies in her system, and around about nine months old it’s a key time for her to develop her own immunity and for the body to fight infections itself.
It is good for her to get infections now so her body can get used to bugs and produce its own antibodies and thus develop her own immunity. What we have recently learned is that colds can last longer for babies with Down Syndrome. For Coraline, her cold lasted two and a half weeks. Her excellent Community Paediatrician explained this to me (who we see in addition to the amazing Dieudonné).
Read on if you’re interested in the anatomy of colds (if that’s the right expression!) Children with Down’s Syndrome have smaller nasal and ear passages and they can get blocked. Coraline’s Paediatrician explained that due to Coraline’s lower muscle tone the muscles to cough and clear mucus are not as strong, and her airways are flatter so it is not as easy to drain mucus. So it is not an immune problem that means a cold lasts longer, but more a difficulty clearing mucus. The cold virus irritates the cell linings and stimulates them to produce mucus. The virus is gone but it’s the irritated mucous lining which takes a while to settle down. As it is inflamed it produces more mucus.
Coraline managed her cold valiantly - just the first two nights she hardly slept, but for the rest of it she did brilliantly and slept through as usual. #buildingimmunity#downsyndromeawareness #ourstory