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Managing the Common Cold in Children: Symptoms, Prevention, and Care Tips | A Parent's Guide

The viral illness that infects the upper respiratory system is called the common cold. The most frequent cause is rhinovirus, and the most prevalent symptoms are a scratchy throat, stuffy or runny nose, sneezing, and watery eyes with or without fever.


However, the typical initial signs of the common cold include sneezing, a stuffy or runny nose, and an itchy, sore throat. Most people can quickly recognize these early symptoms since the common cold is so frequent.


The spread of these viruses from one person to the next or from one surface to the next is incredibly rapid. Many of these viruses may survive for hours or even days on surfaces.


Even though the common cold may be well known, there are a few things you should be aware of to protect your health, prevent future colds, or even stop the virus from spreading.




The common cold virus enters your body through the mouth, eyes, or nose. The virus can be spread by airborne droplets when a sick person coughs, or sneezes.


It can also be passed from person to person or by sharing contaminated objects such as eating utensils, towels, toys, or telephones. You are more likely to catch a cold if you touch your eyes, nose, or mouth after such contact.


Most viruses can be divided into several categories. Among these groups are:

  1. Rhinoviruses in humans
  2. Coronaviruses
  3. Virus parainfluenza
  4. Adenoviruses




You may lessen your chance of getting a cold by doing the following:


  1. Wash your hands with water and soap often. Give them a 20-second rinse, and assist young ones in doing the same. Use a hand sanitiser with an alcohol base if soap and water are not accessible. Frequent handwashing can help keep you healthy since cold-causing viruses can reside on your hands.
  2. Avoid using unwashed hands to touch your mouth, nose, or eyes. This is how cold-causing viruses may get into your body and make you ill.
  3. Keep your distance from those who are ill. Through close touch, sick people can pass germs that cause the common cold to others.
  4. Wear mask to avoid spread.




Common cold symptoms often show up between one and three days after being exposed to a cold-causing virus. The following are signs and symptoms of the disease, and they might vary from person to person:

  1. Runny or congested nose
  2. Sore throat
  3. Slight headache or minor bodily discomfort
  4. Sneezing
  5. A minor fever
  6. Feeling generally sick


As a normal cold progresses, the discharge from your nose may begin clear before becoming thicker, yellower, or greener.


Cold and flu:


Since a lot of the symptoms of the two conditions are similar, it can be challenging to distinguish between them. Both commonly occur in the colder months and have an impact on the upper respiratory system (nose, throat, and trachea). But distinct viruses are responsible for colds and flu. The influenza virus is the source of the flu, but other viruses are responsible for colds.


The key distinction between the flu and a cold is that the latter is more likely to cause a fever and chills. Children can have a fever with a typical cold.


In addition to physical pains, the flu has more severe symptoms than a cold. Issues from the flu can be fatal, but some serious consequences can also happen due to the cold.




  • Consult your doctor
  • Most cold resolve in a week - 10 days time with supportive care.
  • Hydrate yourself to feel better.
  • Consult your doctor that shouldn’t be given to kids. It is important to learn as much as possible about treating upper respiratory infections, such as colds, and their symptoms.
  • Rest

You cannot recover from a cold brought on by a respiratory virus with antibiotics. They don't work against viruses, and if you take them excessively, they can make it more difficult for your body to fight against bacterial infections in the future. 




The condition is generally not dangerous, and symptoms usually go away within two weeks. A runny nose, sneezing, and congestion are common symptoms. A high fever or severe symptoms should be treated by a doctor, particularly in children. Symptoms can be managed with rest, hydration, and supportive care.

Medanta Medical Team
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