The common cold plagues households throughout America year-round, but even more so as cold weather approaches. Caused by a staggering array of rhinoviruses, colds spread person to person, through contact with contaminated surfaces and airborne respiratory droplets from sneezes and coughs. In cold weather, more people congregate indoors, and so the contagion spreads more easily.
What can you do when your child catches a cold? Here are three common cold treatments to help ease symptoms of the common cold.
Treating a Child’s Cold Symptoms
You know the symptoms: coughing, sneezing, upper respiratory congestion (a stuffy or runny nose), body aches, low grade fever, fatigue, and poor appetite. These symptoms may occur in babies, toddlers, and preschoolers as often as 10 times a year! Add to that the close contact that occurs in daycare and school settings, and it may seem as if your child is sick all the time.
Sadly, there is no real cure for the common cold. It is a viral infection that antibiotics cannot treat. To relieve your child’s symptoms, most often, your child must ride them out. However, you should call your child’s pediatrician the doctor if your child’s symptoms worsen instead of getting better.
Here’s what the pediatricians at Westchester Park Pediatrics recommend:
1. Rest and Hydration
Keep your sick child as comfortable as possible, and be sure to push fluids, such as soups, water, juice, and so on. Hydration helps to reduce fever, flush toxins from the system, provide calories, and may even stimulate poor appetite.
As your child’s strength and energy improve, allow some activities, even those that are outdoors, as the weather permits. Do not allow your child to return to school or daycare if they still have a fever, little energy,or poor appetite.
2. Use Medications… but Sparingly
You should be able to control fever and body aches with age-appropriate doses of ibuprofen or acetaminophen. However, don’t give children or teens aspirin, unless so advised by your doctor, as it may cause a dangerous condition called Reye’s syndrome.
Decongestant drops or cough medicine may help. Ask your pediatrician about what products to use and in what dosage. However, these medications are not absolutely necessary in treatment of the common cold.In fact, many parents have more success with a cool mist humidifier placed at the bedside at night. Also, for babies, administering saline drops into a stuffy nose, and gently extracting mucus with a bulb syringe can work wonders.
3. See (or Call) Your Child’s Pediatrician
Our doctors know their young patients well. So, we can fine-tune the symptom relief you have begun at home. Our pediatricians can alert you to symptoms that may indicate a more serious medical condition, such as otitis media (middle ear infection), bronchitis,or more.
Plus, your child’s doctor has many tips for families that help prevent as many colds as possible. For instance, keep children out of crowds during cold and flu season. Teach your kids proper (and frequent) hand-washing skills and how to sneeze or cough into a tissue, sleeve, or elbow. Frankly, prevention truly is the best medicine.
Westchester Pediatrics in Purchase, NY
In our friendly pediatric practice, we have six board-certified pediatricians who love kids. They’re available for acute health problems, such as the common cold and flu, and also for chronic diseasemanagement. Plus, we offer physical examinations, vaccines, and on-site testing services – all designed to help your child grow and thrive.
Call us if you need an appointment or haveany questions regarding cold treatments: (914) 761-1717. You can also submit an appointment request now.