Saturday, 20 July 2013 04:55

Your Child and the Common Cold

Written by 
Rate this item
(2 votes)

Common Cold




                                                                             Common Cold




What is a Common Cold?



Colds are the most common cause of illness in children. There are more then 200 types of viruses that can cause a common cold (National Health and Medical Research Council, 2012). Symptoms include a runny or blocked nose, sneezing and coughing, watery eyes, headache and mild sore throat with possible fever. Nasal discharge may start clear, but can become thicker and turn yellow or green over a day or so.


Infants are protected from colds for about the first 6 months of life by antibodies from their mother. After this, infants and young children are very susceptible to colds because they are not immune; they have close contact with adults and other children (Eccle, 2005).


It is unusual for children to have 5 or more colds per year. As children get older, and as they are exposed to greater number of children, they get fewer colds each year because of increased immunity.





How is the Common Cold spread?



Colds are generally spread by airborne droplets. They can also be spread indirectly by contact with surfaces that have been contaminated by infectious airborne droplets (Aronson & Shope, 2005).




Incubation Period



The incubation period is usually 1-3 days.



Infectious Period



Children with colds are most infectious from about 1 day before the symptoms begin, and while they have a runny nose with clear nasal discharge (National Health and Medical Research Council, 2012).







There is no specific treatment for the common cold. A cold is a virus infection and antibiotics will not help. Rest, drink plenty of fluids and providing comfort for your child are important.


Decongestants and other cold remedies are widely used for relieving the symptoms of colds, but they are unlikely to help. Oral decongestants are not recommended for children under the age of 2 years. Do not give aspirin to any child under the age of 12 years unless specifically recommended by a doctor (National Health and Medical Research Council, 2012).









Aronson, S.S. & Shope, T.R. (eds) 2005. Managing infectious diseases in child care and schools: a quick reference guide. Academy of Pediatrics: Illinois.


Eccles R. (November 2005). "Understanding the symptoms of the common cold and influenza". Lancet Infectious Diseases 5 (11): 718–25.


National Health and Medical Research Council (2012). Staying Healthy: Preventing diseases in early childhood education and care services 5th Edn. NHMRC, Canberra.

Read 8616 times Last modified on Friday, 07 March 2014 03:54

Leave a comment