Common Colds in babies and children

November 6, 2023

Common Colds in Babies & Children: Your Questions Answered and Top 5 Tips

Dr Yiannis, back again with another post for you talking about a problem as old as time, and yet, as parents, it never gets less worrisome – the common cold. Your child’s health and well-being are our priority, so let’s explore this topic together.

Children are prone to catching colds. This is primarily due to their developing immune system learning to fend off the many viruses that cause this condition. While it’s distressing to see your child under the weather, it’s usually not a cause for concern. However, it’s essential to know how to provide care and comfort during this time. Here are some common questions we hear from parents:

Young boy feels that his throat is pain. Ill little boy with sore throat. Ill child with sore throat. Sore throats in a child. Child has a sore throats. Signs of a cold in children.

My child seems to be catching colds very often. Should I be worried?

Frequent colds are pretty standard in young children. In fact, it’s normal for a child to have as many as 8-10 colds in a year, especially if they are in a nursery or school setting. While it might seem a lot to us adults, it’s actually part of the body’s natural learning process in building a robust immune system. For more on this, check our previous article discussing the frequency of colds in young children here.

When should I take my child to see a doctor?

While most colds are harmless, sometimes they can lead to more serious infections. Seek immediate medical attention if your child has a high temperature (above 38°C in babies less than 3 months old and above 39°C in older children), seems particularly unwell, has difficulty breathing or has symptoms lasting more than a week. You can learn more about when to worry about your child’s temperature here.

Now that we’ve cleared some doubts, let’s dive into the top 5 tips to manage your child’s cold:

Tip 1: Hydration is Key

Ensure your child stays hydrated. Sore throats and fevers can cause a loss of fluids. Regular sips of water or warm liquids like soups or herbal teas can provide relief.

Tip 2: Comfortable Rest

Help your child get plenty of sleep. A comfortable, quiet room can make a big difference. Use a humidifier to moisten nasal passages and the throat, helping your child breathe easier.

Tip 3: Healthy Eating

Ensure a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. These will provide the necessary vitamins and nutrients to fight off the virus.

Tip 4: Use a Saline Nasal Spray

These sprays can help moisten the nasal passages and alleviate the stuffy nose, making your child feel more comfortable.

Tip 5: Teach Hygiene Practices

Inculcate good hygiene practices, such as using a tissue when sneezing or coughing, disposing of it properly, and then washing hands. This can help prevent the spread of the cold virus.

Finally, remember, a parent’s intuition is a powerful tool. You know your child best, so trust your instincts when you feel something’s not right. For more health insights, check out our July Newsletter and stay tuned for our next update.

Dr. Yiannis and the Childhealthy team




Disclaimer: Information contained in this article is intended as general advice and does not replace a medical assessment. If you are concerned about your child, please contact your doctor for advice.


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