If you’re a parent, you know that a child with a cold can be a miserable experience for everyone. A lot of the time, a cold isn’t bad enough to send you to a family health center like some other seasonal illnesses, but they can be just bad enough to make your child’s life miserable and your life miserable too. On average, a child will catch between six and 10 colds every year, and a cold is one of the most annoying of common illnesses. Is there any way to avoid this seasonal illness and an extra trip to the family health center?
Why Do Kids Get Cold so Often?
The going theory is that a child’s immune system is not yet ready to deal with all the viruses that a child is exposed to. Furthermore, adults and even older children and teens mostly grasp the importance of hygiene in order to avoid getting sick. This is not something that little children worry about and the virus ends up all over their hands, clothes, and toys.
How Long Do Colds Last?
How Long Do Colds Last?
Colds can last between six and 14 days, which is a lot longer than most parents think that they’re supposed to. The first three days have the worst symptoms, but it’s possible to catch a cold from someone who has been sick with it for as long as two weeks. One of the reasons parents sometimes rush their children to an urgent healthcare clinic is because it can be difficult to tell the difference between a bad cold and flu. The first sign of a cold is often a sore throat, which can last five to nine days. The runny nose typically begins on the second or third day and for about 1/3 of the children who get sick the runny nose lasts for 10 days. One in five kids will have a runny nose for as long as two weeks. The cough shows up halfway through and can stick with your child for up to three weeks. Finally, it’s not unusual for children to have a fever of between 101° and 103° even with the common cold. The fever shouldn’t last more than two or three days; if it does, or if it goes beyond 103°, then you should visit a family health clinic.
How Can They Avoid Colds?
A number of the strategies that we have all learned do work, but some of them depend on how you do it. Washing your hands is a great idea: but it only works if you wash for at least 30 seconds. Hand sanitizer is effective, and studies have shown that children who regularly use it are absent from school about half as often as children who don’t. Covering your mouth when you sneeze offers a little bit of protection. You should be aware that making your child wear a jacket may keep them warm, but it will have no effect on whether or not they get sick.
What Medicine Should I Give My Child?
Over-the-counter medications are not always safe and children have been known to have significant reactions to cold medications that are largely safe for adults. Your child will see relief with ibuprofen or acetaminophen. some saline nose drops could help a stuffed nose, and a humidifier by the bed will help your child sleep easier at night. Chicken soup really does ease cold symptoms, too.
When Should I Go to a Family Health Clinic?There are some warning signs that mean your child probably needs to see a doctor right away. If their face hurts, if their fever is over 102° for more than three days, if they are pulling at their ears or are very fussy, if they’re making a wheezing or rasping sound when they breathe, or if they are experiencing painful blisters in their mouth you should take your child to a family health clinic pretty quickly.
Colds are no fun for children or for adults, but you can minimize the impact of a cold and the frequency of colds by following some of these tips.