We know the first
symptoms of a cold quite well; a sore throat, a runny or blocked nose,
sneezing, headache, mild fever and muscle aches… but when it comes to little
kids, we kind of have to look out for the signs and often don’t realise much is
going on until they start acting unlike themselves. Mums know it before anyone
else – something is just not quite right!
The common cold is
most contagious in the first few days, so at the first sign of a cold you
should act quickly and keep your child home from day care or school.
Colds will clear
up on their own with time and rest, but you can do some of the following things
to get alleviate some discomfort for your child:
Use saline drops
or a spray to relieve a congested nose.
Run a humidifier
to put moisture back in the air (this is particularly needed in winter when
heaters are run often).
Give some pain
relief medication (paracetamol or ibuprofen) if throat is sore or headache is
Make a warm honey
drink to soothe a cough.
Also give a butter
menthol or soother lollies to help with a sore throat (if old enough not to
swallow or choke).
Run a hot shower
to create steam in the bathroom and sit in there until some mucus has cleared.
This is great in the mornings if you find that is when your child is most
Lots of fluids
such as water, milk and soup are great. Double the usual amount your child
normally has per day.
and a hot water bottle on the couch with their favourite movie should help a
If your child seems
to be getting worse, or experiences an ear ache, chest pain, is coughing up
mucus, has difficulty breathing or is unable to keep liquids or food down you
should call your doctor immediately.