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How to Treat a Cold

  • Posted on Jan 18, 2017

So many children (and their parents) have colds now. Colds are often accompanied by fever and can make you feel really awful. Are you staring at the medicine display in the pharmacy, wondering which of the many cold medicines on the shelf will best help your ill child? How we wish we had a terrific medication recommendation for treatment of a kid’s cold. Unfortunately, we do not and antibiotics-as powerful as they can be at killing bacteria- do not cure colds, which are caused by viruses. Watching your child suffer from a cold is tough but why give something that doesn’t help her get better and has potential side effects? The safety and effectiveness of cough and cold medicine has never been fully demonstrated in children, so you can ignore this shelf in the stores.

Instead, treat the symptoms- here are some tips below to help your child feel better soon:

  • -If she has a sore throat, sore nose, headache, or body aches, consider giving acetaminophen honeyor ibuprofen to treat the discomfort.
  •  -Give honey for her cough and also to soothe her throat if she is over one year of age.
  •  -Run a cool mist humidifier in her bedroom, use saline nose spray or washes, have her take a soothing, steamy shower, and teach her how to blow her nose.
  •  -Break up that mucus by hydrating her well — give her a bit more than she normally drinks. Give your child plenty of fluids-  and yes, milk is ok during a cold– to prevent dehydration, but it can make mucous thicker.
  •  -For infants, help them blow their noses by using a bulb suction. However, be careful, over-zealous suctioning can lead to a torn-up nose and an overlying bacterial infection. Use a bulb suction or Nose Frida only a few times a day.

Fortunately, when your kids have a cold, unlike you, they can take as many naps as they want!

-Sarah Caudle, PA-C

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