Over 200 viruses can cause a cold; hence it is called the “common cold”. Colds are caused by a group of viruses with the Rhino virus being the most common. These viruses have the ability to change, making it difficult to build 100% immunity. Children average 3 to 8 colds per year and they will continue getting them throughout childhood. Colds can occur year-round, but they mostly occur in the winter.
The 3 most frequent symptoms of a cold are: Nasal congestion, runny nose and sneezing. Young children also often run a fever. Depending on which virus is causing the symptoms, the virus may also cause the following:
- Sore throat and/or Cough
- Decreased appetite
- Muscle Ache
- Post nasal drip
- Blocked and runny nose (clear, watery and profuse discharge)
- Watery eyes
- Symptoms start two days after contact with the virus and most colds last 7-14 days.
How does the virus spread?
Sneezing, nose-blowing, and nose-wiping spread the virus and one can catch a cold by inhaling the virus if sitting close to someone who sneezes, or by touching your nose, eyes, or mouth after you have touched something contaminated by the virus. You cannot catch colds because of not wearing shoes or running around outside in the evening!
How to treat symptoms?
- Use a cream or petroleum jelly under the nose to help with chafing.
- Use Nasal Drops to soften the mucous
- Cough syrups can be helpful.
- Vapour gel on the chest and back can give relief to blocked noses
- Throat Pops help soothe sore throats
How do I treat common colds?
Antibiotics do not kill viruses. Syrups containing antihistamines to lessen the mucous production should be used sparingly. Viruses are fought by the body’s own immune system. Boost your little ones’ immune system with adequate nutrition and Vitamin & Mineral supplements. Give your little one lots of fluids. Treat the fever with Paracetamol. Never use Aspirin (Salicylates) for fever in young children as it can lead to Reyes Syndrome and death in susceptible children!
How to prevent spreading the cold virus?
- Wash hands frequently
- Cough/sneeze into a tissue and not hands
- Discard used tissues
- If breathing difficulties develop
- High fever – if your little one’s temperature is higher than 38°C and is not responding to efforts to bring it down
- High fever – consistently over 39°C or lasts longer than 2 days
- Ear infection with severe pain
- Very sore throat, smelly breath and yellow pussy discharge from the nose
- If symptoms worsen or do not improve after 7 to 10 days
This article is brought to you by Purity; a 2015 Johnson’s Baby Sense Seminar sponsor.