This time of the year is associated with the common cold and the flu. Even though the cold can strike at any time of the year, it can have a much more marked effect during the cold winter months. While it is difficult to protect your child from getting a cold completely, there are some things you can do to reduce the risk.
Despite your best efforts, your child may still get a cold, and they will feel miserable as a result. Therefore, it always helps to be prepared for that eventuality. So read on for some useful tips to prevent and treat the common cold.
Colds generally last for six to fourteen days, so even if you think your child is over it, you may see milder symptoms come and go during this period. The most common cold symptoms include:
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Low-grade fever
- Tiredness and mild body aches.
In most cases, these symptoms will usually get better after a few days and may only require rest and liquids to support the little one in recovery. However, in all cases, there are a few things that you can do to prevent a cold and speed up the recovery.
Developing Good Habits as a Front-Line Defense
You should start encouraging the development of good personal hygiene habits as soon as your child starts becoming more independent. Things like washing hands and covering mouths when sneezing can help keep germs at bay.
Make sure that your kids always wash their hands after trips to the bathroom and when they sneeze; germs can be easily spread if they remain active on a child’s hands. Make sure you demonstrate good habits yourself, as the kiddies are likely to copy what you do.
Keep Them Hydrated
It is easy to get dehydrated when you have a cold, so make sure that your child is taking on plenty of fluids. This is essential no matter how old they are. If your baby is still breastfeeding, try to feed them as often as possible.
For older kids, you can use oral rehydration solutions and a combination of water and juice or broth. The increased liquid intake will help them keep up their strength, especially if they have lost their appetite.
Lots of Rest
Rest will also help your little one get over the cold much sooner. Older kids should be kept out of school so they can recuperate and avoid spreading germs to other kids.
Dress them in light, breathable clothing, which will help keep them at a comfortable temperature, while avoiding too many layers, which may make them overheat.
Help to Minimize the Symptoms
There are a few things you can do to help your child feel more comfortable while they are dealing with the worst of their symptoms. And the best part of this is that it just involves using things you probably have around the house.
Honey is great for kids over the age of one, as it can help the immune system and take care of irritating coughs. Also, having humidifiers around the house can help with stuffy noses by breaking up mucus.
Know What Medicine Is Best for Your Child
In the vast majority of cases, your child might not need any medicine. Instead, they will get better by resting and taking on adequate amounts of fluids. But if your child has a fever or is really miserable, think before you dive into the medicine cabinet.
Many cold and flu medicines are not designed for young children and may do more harm than good. If you are unsure, you should speak to your pediatrician or to a pharmacist to see what they recommend for your child based on his or her age and symptoms.