A cold is very common in children and is characterised by irritation of the nose and throat. It is caused by a virus and therefore, cannot be treated with antibiotics. Although colds are common in children, care must be taken to ensure that it does not develop into chest or ear infection.
The common symptoms of cold are a runny or blocked nose with or without sneezing. Your child may run a slight temperature and it may be accompanied with sore throat and cough.
All colds take their own time and gradually go away in 3-5 days. There are no medicines for colds but certain measures can be taken to try and make your child more comfortable:
- Saline nasal drops may help if your child's nose is blocked but these should not be used for more than three days as prolonged use can actually further block the nose by encouraging mucus production
- Tickle the nose with a cotton bud to cause sneezing which will help clear the nose
- Don't force your child to eat but ensure that she's having more fluids
- You can place a cushion or a pillow under the child or baby's mattress so that she is able to breathe more easily when suffering from a blocked nose
- Rubbing some baby vicks on the chest or a few drops of karvol on the night clothes may help your child breathe a bit more easily
- If your child is running a temperature, ask the pharmacist for paracetamol and you can give the recommended dose