Childhood Illness; Knowing When to Call the Doctor: The Common Cold, Flu, and Skin Rashes

The Common Cold:

A cold is usually a viral infection of the nose and throat. It is the most common type of infection of the respiratory (breathing) system.

Cold viruses are spread from one person to another by hand contact, coughing, and sneezing- Not by cold air or drafts.

Most healthy children may get about four to six colds each year. These colds usually clear up on their own within 1-2 weeks. Antibiotics are not helpful for colds because antibiotics kill bacteria but a cold is caused by a virus.

In the meantime, have your child drink plenty of fluids. Do not give children over the counter cough and cold medication because it hasn’t been shown to help and sometimes children can have a bad reaction to the medicine. Many children experience less cough when they sleep propped up, having a cool mist or steam humidifier, and drink tea with honey.

Call your doctor if your child has a temperature greater than 102 or if they are not improving as expected.