The common cold is one of the most bothersome illnesses in children, especially in winter. Caused by a virus, most commonly rhinovirus, the common cold, can result in various symptoms that can keep your child from taking part in their routine activities and attending school.
Typically, the symptoms of the common cold in children get better within 7 to 10 days without any treatment. However, dealing with the common cold in children in these seven to 10 days can be challenging. The good news is that there are several strategies that you can follow to alleviate your child’s symptoms and promote faster recovery.
Here are some simple strategies to deal with common colds in children and where you can go for the treatment of your child’s acute and chronic health conditions in Purchase, New York.
Let Your Child Get Enough Rest
When struck by the common cold, rest is crucial for children. It supports the immune system by allowing it to focus on fighting the causative agent of the cold. This also allows your child’s body to allocate more energy and resources to combat the infection and alleviate symptoms such as body aches, fatigue, and sore throat.
To ensure that your child gets enough rest during the common cold, create a calm and quiet environment, encourage them to follow their usual sleep routine, and allow them to miss school and other activities.
Give Them Plenty of Fluids
The symptoms of common colds, such as sneezing and runny nose, can keep your child from consuming enough fluids, causing dehydration. Moreover, fever resulting from the common cold can also cause dehydration (fluid loss).
Therefore, give your child plenty of fluids, such as water, warm soups, electrolyte solutions, and apple juice. If your infant is breastfed, try to increase the frequency of breastfeeding sessions.
Clear Up Their Stuffed Nasal Passages
A stuffy nose resulting from a common cold infection can cause breathing problems and congestion, disrupting your child’s sleep and quality of life. There are several ways through which you can clear up a stuffy nose without medications.
Use a cold mist humidifier to help break up the mucus. Clean your humidifier regularly to prevent the growth of molds and bacteria.
You can also use a saline nasal spray or drops to make it easier for your child to blow out the mucus. In infants and young children, you can use suction bulbs to draw the mucus out of each nostril after applying saline nasal drops.
Placing a pillow or raising the head of the bed can also help reduce nasal congestion and promote better breathing. Avoid using medicated decongestant drops or sprays in children younger than six years old.
Treat Their Symptoms Like Fever and Pain
If your child has uncomfortable symptoms like fever and pain, give them the child’s formula acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Do not give ibuprofen to children under six months and acetaminophen to children younger than 3 months. Never use cold or cough medicine in kids unless your child’s pediatrician suggests so.
Ask Them to Gargle
Saltwater gargling is one of the best ways to soothe a sore throat. To make a gargling solution, take 4 to 8 ounces of warm water and add 1/4 to half a teaspoon of table salt. Ask your child over six years old to gargle saltwater solution and spit it out.
You can also give your child a lozenge or hard candy to soothe a sore throat. Do not give lozenges or hard candy to younger children because they can choke on them.
Encourage Good Hygiene Practices
Teaching your child to wash their hands frequently with soap and water, especially after using the restroom or before meals, can help prevent the spread of common cold infection. Also, encourage your child to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue or elbow while coughing or sneezing to reduce the transmission of germs to others.
Know When to See a Pediatrician
If your child has a fever above 100.4, vomiting, wheezing, trouble breathing, stomach pain, and ear pain, call your pediatrician immediately or go to the nearest emergency room.
Common Cold in Children in Purchase, New York
At Westchester Park Pediatrics, our six board-certified pediatricians are committed to providing the best care to children of all ages, from newborns to age 15. Our pediatricians are highly experienced in treating acute health problems like common colds, managing chronic health conditions, and providing preventive care. For your convenience, we also offer on-site testing services.