Common Cold

The common cold is the most familiar of the upper respiratory infections.

What is the Common Cold? (Adults & Children Guide)

The common cold is the most widespread upper respiratory infection, and one both you and your child will likely face many times.

It's Not Just One Virus

There are actually many different viruses that cause "the common cold." This makes it hard to become immune, hence why colds are so frequent. People spread colds through:

  • Touching surfaces with the virus, then you touch your face
  • Inhaling droplets from an infected person's cough or sneeze

Common Cold Symptoms: Adults & Kids

Typical symptoms (which adults also experience) include:

  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Mild fever (101-102 degrees)
  • Decreased appetite
  • Sore throat
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Cough
  • Fussiness (especially in younger children)
  • Slightly swollen glands

Symptom severity depends on the specific virus. One cold might cause a bad sore throat, another a worse cough.

Note: Pus on tonsils could mean strep throat – see a doctor at Night Watch Pediatric Urgent Care.

Is the Common Cold Serious?

  • Older Kids & Adults: Usually a minor, week-long annoyance. No doctor needed unless symptoms are very severe.
  • Babies Under 3 Months: Colds can be more dangerous for infants. Visit Night Watch Pediatric Urgent Care.

Warning Signs: When to Seek Care

  • Trouble breathing
  • Bluish lips
  • Ear pain
  • Fever over 102 degrees
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Thick, colored mucus for over 10 days
  • Cough persisting over a week

Treatment & Recovery

Most people recover on their own thanks to their immune system. Focus on:

  • Rest
  • Hydration
  • Comfort measures

Medicine can't cure the cold, but a doctor can address complications like secondary infections.

Night Watch Pediatric Urgent Care: Here to Help Click Here to Book Online