Colds (for Parents) – Nemours KidsHealth

What Is a Cold?

The common cold is a contagious viral infection of the upper respiratory nerve pathway .
Most adults catch a coldness from clock to time, but kids can get eight colds per year or more. They ‘re the top reason kids visit the doctor and miss school .

What Causes a Cold?

Most colds are caused by rhinoviruses carried in invisible droplets in the air out or on things we touch. These viruses can get into the protective line of the nose and throat, setting off an immune arrangement reaction that can cause a huffy throat, headache, and worry breathe through the nose .
Dry tune — indoors or outside — can lower resistor to infection by the viruses that cause colds. so can being a stag party or being around person who smokes. Smokers are more probably to catch a cold than people who do n’t smoke, and their symptoms probably will be worse and last farseeing, and can even lead to bronchitis or pneumonia.

But despite some honest-to-god wives ‘ tales, not wearing a jacket or sweater when it ‘s chili, sitting or sleeping in a draft, and going outside while your hair’s-breadth ‘s wet do not cause colds .

What Are the Signs & Symptoms of a Cold?

The first symptoms of a cold are often a tickle in the throat, a fluid or stuffy nuzzle, and sneezing. Kids with colds besides might feel very run down and have a afflictive throat, cough, concern, meek fever, muscle aches, and loss of appetite. mucus from the nose may become slurred yellow or green .

Are Colds Contagious?

Colds are the most common infectious disease in the United States. They ‘re very catching, specially in the inaugural 2 to 4 days after symptom begin. They can evening spread for a couple of weeks after person starts feeling pale .
Colds spread through one-on-one contact or by breathing in virus particles, which can travel up to 12 feet through the publicize when person with a cold cough or sneeze. Touching the sass or nuzzle after touching a contaminate airfoil can besides spread a cold .

How Long Do Colds Last?

Cold symptoms normally appear 2 or 3 days after exposure to a source of infection. Most colds clear up within 1 week, but some death a bite longer .

How Are Colds Diagnosed?

Your sophisticate wo n’t be able to find which virus caused the illness, but can check your child ‘s throat and ears and take a throat culture to make indisputable the symptoms are n’t from another condition that may need treatment. If symptoms get worse rather of better after 3 days or so, the trouble could be streptococcal throat, sinusitis, pneumonia, or bronchitis, specially if your son or daughter smokes .
If symptoms last for more than a week ; appear at the lapp fourth dimension every year ; or happen when your child is around pollen, dust, or animals, an allergy could be to blame. Kids who have trouble breathe or wheeze when they catch a cold could have asthma .

How Are Colds Treated?

Colds will clear up on their own without specific medical discussion. Medicine ca n’t cure a cold, but can ease symptoms like muscle aches, concern, and fever. You can give your child acetaminophen or ibuprofen based on the package directions for age or weight.

Never give aspirin to children or teens, as such use has been linked to Reye syndrome, a rare but good condition that can be fatal .
many experts immediately believe that there ‘s normally no reason to give over-the-counter ( OTC ) decongestants and antihistamines to any child younger than 6. There ‘s little proof that these medicines bring, and decongestants can cause hallucinations, irritability, and irregular heartbeats, peculiarly in infants .

Can Colds Be Prevented?

Because then many viruses cause colds, there is n’t a vaccine to protect against them. To help avoid catching one, kids should :

  • steer clear of anyone who has a cold 
  • avoid secondhand smoke 
  • wash their hands well and often, especially after blowing their noses
  • sneeze or cough into a tissue or their elbow, not into their hands
  • not share towels, drinking glasses, or eating utensils with someone who has a cold
  • not pick up other people’s used tissues

Experts are n’t certain whether taking excess zinc or vitamin C can limit how retentive cold symptoms final or how severe they become, but large doses taken every day can cause negative side effects. Studies on herb tea remedies, like echinacea, are either negative or are n’t conclusive. few good scientific studies of these treatments have been done in kids .
lecture to your doctor before you give your child any herbal redress or more than the recommend casual valuation reserve ( RDA ) of any vitamin or supplement .

How Can I Help My Child?

To help ease cold discomfort, you can :

  • Put saline (saltwater) drops in the nostrils to relieve nasal congestion.
  • Rn a cool-mist humidifier to increase air moisture.
  • Dab petroleum jelly on the skin under the nose to soothe rawness.
  • Give hard candy or cough drops to relieve sore throat (only for kids older than 6).
  • Run a warm bath or use a heating pad to soothe aches and pains.
  • Run a hot shower to create a steam-filled bathroom where your child can sit to help clear stuffiness.

What about chicken soup ? There ‘s no real proof that eating it can cure a cold, but sick people have been swearing by it for more than 800 years. Chicken soup contains a mucus-thinning amino acidic called cysteine, and some inquiry shows that wimp soup helps control congestion-causing white cells, called neutrophils .
The best design, though, is not to worry about whether to “ feed a cold ” or “ starve a fever. ” equitable make sure your child eats when athirst and beverage batch of liquids like water or juice to help replace the fluids lost during a fever or from mucus product.

When Should I Call the Doctor?

Always call the doctor if you think your child might have more than a cold, your child gets worse alternatively of better, or if your child :

  • coughs up a lot of mucus
  • is short of breath
  • is unusually tired
  • can’t keep food or liquids down or has trouble drinking
  • has a headache that gets worse
  • has facial or throat pain that gets worse
  • has a severely painful sore throat that makes it hard to swallow
  • has fever of 103°F (39.3°C) or higher, or a fever of 101°F (38.0°C) or higher that lasts for more than a day
  • has chest or stomach pain
  • has swollen glands (lymph nodes) in the neck
  • has an earache

Like most viral infections, colds equitable have to run their naturally. Getting enough of perch and drinking lots of fluids — juice and water — can help your child feel well while on the repair .
Keeping up regular activities like going to school probably wo n’t make a cold any bad. But it will increase the likelihood that the cold will spread to classmates or friends. So you might want to put some casual routines aside until your child is feeling better .

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.