Children's Colds

The most frequent illness among children is the common cold. Even though respiratory viruses last for only a week or so, most children can feel under the weather longer.

What are colds in children?

A viral infection of the upper respiratory tract is classified as a cold. There are over 200 different viruses known to cause colds, but the rhinovirus is the most common form. Antibiotics are not useful in treating colds because antibiotics treat bacterial infections.

Colds can be dangerous to newborns, but are not considered dangerous to otherwise healthy children. Colds take 4 to 10 days to go away with no treatment. Due to the large number of viruses that cause colds and because new cold viruses develop, children don’t gain resistance to all cold viruses.

Fatigue, stress, or the kind of cold may promote a bacterial infection in parts of a child’s body, such as the sinuses, ears, throat, or lungs. The bacterial infection weakens the body’s immune system and requires treatment with an antibiotic.

What are the symptoms of colds in children?

Children’s colds can begin very quickly. The child may have watery nasal mucus, sneezing, fatigue, or fever. Because of the postnasal drip, your child may have a sore throat and cough, symptoms that are common in children’s colds. The cold virus can affect your child’s sinuses, throat, bronchial tubes, and ears.

In the early stages of a cold, headache and congestion are common. As the cold advances, the mucus secretions from the sinuses can become darker and thicker. Developing a mild cough is ordinary and could last for several days.

How many colds do children usually get each year?

Statistics show that preschool-aged children get around nine colds per year, kindergartners can have 12 colds annually, and adolescents and adults contract approximately seven colds per year. Cold season begins in September and continues through March or April.

How can I prevent my child from catching colds?

Proper hand washing is the best way to prevent colds among children. Most colds are spread through hand to hand contact. For example, a child with a cold blows his or her nose and then touches your child, who then gets the cold.

Objects that are known to carry viruses include: door handles, stair railings, books, pens, video game remotes, and a computer keyboard and mouse. A cold virus can live on objects for several hours, allowing time for your child to touch an object and then rub his or her eyes or nose.