This is a common scenario in your home: you hear your child coughing and sneezing and you automatically assume that they are down with the flu. In turn, you go to your pediatrician to get a prescription and you find out that it’s only the common cold. After you get your child’s cold medicine, you make a mental note to always have a bottle at home to save the trip and professional fees to your doctor. It’s essential that you know how to detect the early signs of cough and colds in your child so you can determine how to effectively manage its symptoms within the comforts of your home.
What causes the common cold?
There are thousands of viruses which may cause an infection in your upper respiratory tract. According to Mayo Clinic, children aged six and below are at greatest risk of developing colds while it is also common for adults to catch a cold two to three times a year.
Your child is more likely to get sick if:
- They have a weakened immune system
- They are frequently exposed to a lot of people
- Have existing chronic illnesses
- You live in an area where the climate is cool/there are frequent rains
Some symptoms of the cold appear a few days after exposure to the disease-causing virus. Symptoms may vary from person to person but you can watch out for these common symptoms to determine if your child has a common cold:
- Nasal discharge
- Nasal obstruction
- Sore throat
- Feeling feverish
- Feeling weak
Colds usually last one to two weeks. It’s best to let your child rest at home so he/she can fully recover and to prevent spreading the virus in school. You can help speed up your child’s recovery through these simple steps:
- Always have your trusted OTC cold medications that are specially formulated for children on hand like Neozep for Kids so you’re always prepared.
- Increase fluid intake – staying hydrated may help loosen congestion and prevent dehydration. Avoid giving sugary beverages like soda and juice.
- Make a saline rinse – your child may be having difficulty eating and swallowing due to a swollen/itchy throat. Some mouth rinses may be too harsh for your child so a warm saline solution may be a better alternative. There are also OTC nasal sprays like Nasoclear which can help with congestion and nasal irritation.
- Serve his/her favorite soup – warm liquids can soothe your child’s irritated throat and is also said to help eliminate congestion.
- Whip out the air humidifier – humidifiers do more than just make your room smell good since it also helps decongest your child’s airways by adding moisture to the air.
The common cold is easily passed on through the air or through contaminated items. Teach your child to practice good hand hygiene and to cover his/her mouth whenever he/she coughs or sneezes. Avoid sharing utensils with someone who has a cold and consider leaving your child at home if you are visiting a friend/relative in the hospital.
General disclaimer: The medications listed above can be purchased without a prescription but you should always consult your child’s doctor before letting them take any form of medication, including vitamins. Stop taking any kind of medicine should an allergic/adverse reaction happen. Always update your healthcare professional on all the medications that your child is currently taking/taken in the past so he/she can properly prescribe the right kind of medicine for him/her.