The common cold is one of the most common illnesses in paediatric. Each year it leads to more visits to healthcare providers and missed days from school. Most children will have at least 6 to 8 colds a year and it may occur often after the age of 6. What are the causes of common cold in children?
- Most of the upper respiratory tract infections of babies are caused by viruses, and the nasal cavity of babies under 1 year old is soft, narrow and has no nose hair.
- The baby’s immune function is not well developed. A child’s immune system is not as strong as an adult’s when it comes to fighting cold germs.
- Hand-to-mouth contact because children are likely to touch their eyes, nose, or mouth without washing their hand.
- A cold is easy to spread by direct contact. This means that your child touches an infected person or objects.
Symptoms of cold in children
The first symptoms of a cold are often a tickle in the throat, a runny or stuffy nose, and sneezing. Kids with colds also might feel very tired and have a sore throat, cough, headache, mild fever, muscle aches, and loss of appetite. Mucus from the nose may become thick yellow or green.
What are the possible complications of the common cold?
- Otitis media ( ear infections )
- Sinusitis ( sinus infections )
- Pneumonia ( lung infections )
- Throat infections
Nursing methods for children with cold
To help ease cold discomfort, you can:
- put saline (saltwater) drops in the nostrils to relieve nasal congestion
- run a cool-mist humidifier to increase air moisture
- dab petroleum jelly on the skin under the nose to soothe rawness
- give hard candy or cough drops to relieve sore throat (only for kids older than 6)
- run a warm bath or use a heating pad to soothe aches and pains
- run a hot shower to create a steam-filled bathroom where your child can sit to help clear stuffiness
- Give your child plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
- Make sure your child gets plenty of rest.
Can Colds Be Prevented?
Because so many viruses cause colds, there isn’t a vaccine to protect against them. To help avoid catching one, kids should:
- steer clear of anyone who has a cold
- avoid secondhand smoke
- wash their hands well and often, especially after blowing their noses
- sneeze or cough into a tissue or elbow, not onto hands
- not share towels, drinking glasses, or eating utensils with someone who has a cold
- not pick up other people’s used tissues