Coughs and colds can affect anyone but they are particularly common amongst young children because their immune systems are still developing. Coughs and colds are caused by viruses and they can easily be spread by way of droplets being released into the air through sneezing or coughing; they can also be spread through skin to skin contact with somebody with an infection. On average, it is estimated that children get between 7 and 10 colds each year.
Symptoms of coughs and colds
Usually people feel run down when they have a cold but in most cases symptoms shouldn’t be severe. Common symptoms of colds include a runny nose, sore ears, sneezing, sore throat, blocked nose, headaches, muscle aches and a slightly raised temperature. Symptoms of coughs usually include a sore, itchy throat and a persistent chesty or dry cough; coughs may also cause disturbed sleep as the child wakes up coughing.
Treating coughs and colds
As the illness is caused by a virus it cannot be cured with medication; however, medicines can be taken to combat some of the symptoms. Over the counter pain relief can soothe head and muscle aches and bring the child’s temperature down. It is important for children to drink plenty of fluids, wrap up warm and get plenty of rest when they have a cold.
Preventing coughs and colds
Unfortunately coughs and colds are part and parcel of growing up but there are steps that you can take to try and reduce the risks of your child developing a cold; try to ensure they are wrap up warm when they go out in the cold, keep your home warm and clean and make sure they eat plenty of healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables; these foods are rich in nutrients which help to boost the immune system.