The common cold is the most familiar of the upper respiratory infections.
What is the common cold?
The common cold is the most familiar of the upper respiratory infections — and the illness your child is most likely to get.
The common cold isn’t a single illness. In fact, many different strains of viruses cause colds, which is one of the reasons colds are so common. Your child picks up a common cold when they touch someone who has the virus on their hands or breathes it in when an infected person coughs or sneezes near them.
What are the symptoms of a common cold?
The typical symptoms of a cold, which you’ve probably experienced yourself many times, include:
· Runny nose
· Low fever (101-102 degrees)
· Not wanting to eat
· Sore throat
· Difficulties swallowing
· Periods of fussiness
· Slightly swollen glands
The severity of symptoms can vary depending on which strain of the cold virus your child has, so, for example, in some cases a cold causes a particularly sore throat, while other times the cough is the worst symptom.
If you can see pus on your child’s tonsils at the back of their throat, it could be due to an infection called strep throat, in which case you should make an appointment at Night Watch Pediatric Urgent Care as soon as possible.
Is the common cold a serious illness?
The common cold is typically an unpleasant but short-lived minor illness lasting about a week. Toddlers and older children usually cope well with colds and don’t need to see a doctor unless they have additional or extreme symptoms.
However, if you have an infant under 3 months old, you should visit Night Watch Pediatric Urgent Care because colds can develop into more serious illnesses in young babies.
Some symptoms might indicate your child’s illness is more serious or that they’ve developed a secondary infection that needs treatment. These symptoms include:
· Struggling for breath
· Lips turning blue
· Ear pain
· Temperature over 102 degrees
· Extreme sleepiness
Thick, discolored nasal mucus that lasts more than 10 days or coughing that lasts for over a week might also need treating.
Most children who have the common cold get better thanks to the work of their immune system. You can help by keeping them comfortable and rested and be sure they drink plenty of fluids.
Medicines can’t cure a common cold, but if there’s a secondary infection, the team at Night Watch Pediatric Urgent Care can provide the appropriate treatment. Drop-in or call the clinic today or book online.