Are you worried about your kid's frequent occurrence of coughs and colds?
Common but generally harmless
On average, a child suffers from a cold or cough 6 to 12 times a year. The frequent occurrence of these illnesses puts parents in a dilemma. Many wonder if they should take their child to the doctor or treat him with remedies that are easily available at pharmacies.
Causes and symptoms
The common cold is caused by viruses. Symptoms include:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Sore throat
- Flushed cheeks
- Poor appetite
Treatment and prevention
Common colds are self-limited. This means that your child will be able to mount an attack against the virus and eliminate the infection.
How long a cold lasts depends on the child's age and his body's resistance. It is usual for a cold to last several weeks in an infant but only 4 - 5 days in an adolescent.
Since colds are spread through contact with cold sufferers, the only means to prevent the spread of a cold is to isolate the affected individual. However, by the time a cold is detected, the virus has already been transmitted to others.
There are no curative remedies for colds. Drugs help relieve the symptoms while the cold runs its course and the body's defences remove the viral invaders and repair the damage. Coughs and colds in children are rarely serious.
Almost all cough and cold drugs are available over-the-counter (OTC) without a doctor's prescription. OTC drugs generally specify dosages for children from 2 years old. It is necessary to consult your doctor or pharmacist for infant and toddler dosages.