What To Do About Common Colds in Children
Once a child contracts cold viruses, the infection can take two to three days to develop before showing symptoms. And, there are many symptoms. The child becomes cranky. He will complain of headaches, a blocked nose, coughing, sneezing, sore throat, muscle aches, and nasal cavity congestion which often leads to exhaustion. This can also be accompanied by a low fever and body chills. Medicines do not speed the process of healing as the viruses complete their cycle irrespective of the intake. But they do suppress further growth and make the child feel better.
Cold Viruses Spread Infection
Cold viruses are usually spread by sneezing or coughing from an infected person. The villain here is mucus, the wet and slimy substance secreted inside your nose. Mucus is the carrier of the virus. When a person coughs or sneezes, mucus drops are expelled from the nose and mouth. If someone else is in close proximity to the couch or sneeze, they can breathe in these droplets and catch a cold. Colds can also spread by handling contaminated objects such as towels, door knobs, a school desk, etc. If a person touches a contaminated towel and then touches his nose or eyes, there is a great chance of getting an infection. Therefore, it is a good idea to develop the habit of washing your hands regularly to keep them germ-free.
Cold Viruses Multiply into More Viruses
The cold viruses have docking points which help the virus to adhere to the interior of the nose. It then controls the noseâ€™s cell lining and begins to multiply into more viruses. Your bodyâ€™s white blood cells are responsible to fight these viruses inside the nose. They can usually kill them and rid you of your cold within, about seven days. Sneezing and runny noses can actually prevent the viruses from affecting the rest of your body. When a person sneezes the nerves inside the nose detect an irritation. This action alerts the lungs which then forcibly expels the viruses by pushing them out with a blast of air through the mouth and the nose. This blast of air while sneezing, is expelled at more than a hundred miles per hour, much faster than a speeding car.
A Cold Has Many Symptoms
Once a child contracts cold viruses, it can take two to three days to develop before showing symptoms. And, there are many symptoms. The child becomes cranky. He will complain of headaches, a blocked nose, coughing, sneezing, sore throat, muscle aches, and nasal cavity congestion which often leads to exhaustion. This can also be accompanied by a low fever and body chills. Medicines do not speed the process of healing as the viruses complete their cycle irrespective of the intake. But they do suppress further growth and make the child feel better.
Parents Should Supervise Any Medication Taken By their Children
Children should never take any medicines on their own thinking that itâ€™s just a cold. Parents must always supervise the frequency and dosage of any medicine being taken by their children. They must also read the directions on prescription labels and follow their doctor’s protocol exactly. Decongestants help to decrease swelling and thickness in your nasal passages and reduce stuffiness and sinus pressure which make breathing easier. Antihistamines are also helpful in drying up mucus and sneezing and runny noses. Two more, Ibuprofen and acetaminophen can be given if the child is experiencing headache and muscle ache. But, you should consult your doctor before giving these drugs to any child under twelve years of age.
Hot Food, Warm Drinks, and Chicken Soup
At home, parents should serve hot food and warm drinks to the child as they help to soothe sore throats and coughs. Heat also helps to up the mucus. Chicken soup is an age-old remedy for common colds. Hot steamy showers are another good option as they can also help to clear up a stuffy nose. Itchy eyes, scratchy throat and stuffy throats can also be treated with humidifiers which spray a fine, cool mist. They also loosen mucus. The nose should be blown regularly to let the mucus out of the body. It is a good idea to use disposable tissues instead of regular handkerchiefs. Complete bed rest for a day or two is greatly suggested.
Eat Healthy Foods In A Balanced Diet
The best precaution that can be taken is eating healthy food and a balanced diet to strengthen the immune system. The child must exercise regularly in order to stay fit and get adequate sleep. Children who are frequently stressed through study or school activities are frequently more prone to having colds. It is good practice for your child to rest when needed and on some days go to bed early; any child suffering from a cold should relax and take bed rest as much as possible.