Cold in a child: how to act

Which parent has not faced such a problem as a child’s cold? Whether we like it or not, diseases very often put babies to bed. Parents are worried, doctors prescribe treatment, pharmacies have a lot of money… But does it always work? We offer you the advice of the American doctor of medical sciences, honorary specialist in pediatrics Jay L. Hoecker.

About cough and cold medicine for children

The doctor emphasizes that over-the-counter cough and cold medications are ineffective because they do not treat the cause of the illness. However, at the same time, they can be harmful, affect the heartbeat, cause tachycardia and even convulsions. Therefore, it is better not to give such medicines to children under 2 years of age.

After 2 years, this danger disappears, but parents should still be careful, because side effects are still possible. For example, you cannot give a child two drugs with the same active ingredient – either non-analgesic or antihistamine. This can cause an overdose.

About antibiotics

You should also be careful with antibiotics. Keep in mind that drugs that fight bacterial diseases will not help in the fight against viruses. In general, remember a clear rule: antibiotics do not work against a cold.

Antibiotics should not be given to the child often because the body may simply stop responding to them in the future.

How to alleviate the condition

Of course, there are effective medications to alleviate the condition. For example, you can easily bring down the temperature with over-the-counter medicines – paracetamol or ibuprofen. They will relieve headache and sore throat.

At the same time, remember that not every temperature should be beaten. An indicator of up to 38 degrees shows that the body is fighting the virus. Just don’t bother him.

Be sure to strictly follow the instructions. Ibuprofen should not be given to children under 6 months of age, and aspirin should not be given to children under 18 years of age. Doctors say it can cause dangerous Reye’s syndrome. Sometimes it ends in death.

In general, it is not necessary to treat a cold. It usually passes by itself. All you can do is make it easier for the child:

– often give to drink. Especially warm drinks increase the flow of mucus from the nose, make breathing easier, and even have a calming effect.

– moisten the nasal passages. Make sure that the air in the room is humid. The patient can also breathe steam from a hot shower.

– give drops of saline solutions. Special sprays, which can be bought at a pharmacy without a prescription, will help the child breathe easier, because they moisten the mucus. In smaller children, it can be pulled out of the nose with the help of an aspirator.

– relieve sore throat. This can be done easily with ice cream, frozen fruit or cold drinks. And older children can gargle with saline solution or suck caramels.

It is also important that the child rests a lot. After all, the body needs strength to fight the disease.


In fact, there is no method that will protect your child from potential illness 100%. However, there are several ways to protect yourself.

The child should be trained to wash hands. If there is no water, use an antiseptic or wet wipes.

Teach your child to cover his mouth and nose when sneezing, and to avoid contact with a person who already has symptoms of the disease.

And don’t forget about proper nutrition, healthy lifestyle and good sleep.