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Happy Mother And Child Daughter Water In Domestic Garden
Happy Mother And Child Daughter Water In Domestic Garden

COMMON COLDS IN CHILDREN – AND HOW TO MANAGE THEM

A cold is a mild viral infection of the nose, throat, sinuses and upper airways. It is very common and usually clears up on its own within a week or two.

The main symptoms of a cold include:

  • a sore throat
  • a blocked or runny nose
  • sneezing
  • a cough
  • headache

More severe symptoms, including a high temperature (fever) and aching muscles can also occur, although these tend to be associated more with the flu.40

Tips to manage colds

When your child is displaying symptoms of a cold, preventing the spread of germs and helping your child feel better are your top priorities.

Here are four things that may help ease the symptoms:41

  • Inhaling steam from a shower, or using a humidifier, may help relieve nasal congestion
  • Saline nasal drops or a nasal spray (followed by bulb suction for infants) may also ease breathing
  • Make sure the child drinks plenty of fluids, and gets enough rest
  • Try over-the-counter medicines such as paracetamol or ibuprofen to relieve fever
  • Give them warm liquids such as chicken soup – these may temporarily help ease congestion

When to call the doctor

Seek medical advice if your child:

  • Complains of an intense headache or earache
  • Has difficulty breathing
  • Has a persistent cough
  • Coughs up rusty coloured or blood-stained phlegm
  • Has a temperature higher than 38.5⁰C

In most cases, with a little tender loving care and plenty of tissues, the common cold in children will resolve on its own.

References

40. WebMD. Cold, Flu, & Cough Health Center. Do you have a cold or flu? Available at: http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/flu-guide/is-it-coldflu. Accessed 3 October, 2016.

41. Mayo Clinic. Cold remedies: what works, what doesn't, what can't hurt. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/coldremedies/ ID00036. Accessed 3 October, 2016.

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