Hatsjoe! Oh sure your little one has a cold. Again.
Lovely, now what?
Do you ever get the feeling that your little one suffers from a cold 360 days a year? Children can catch a cold up to 10 times a year which are caused by all kinds of viruses. The sneezing, coughing and snorting can continue for a couple of weeks. And then there’s that thing of difficult breathing which doesn’t nly effect theirs but your night sleep as well, the eating which seems to become even more problematic than it already was… You probably know what I’m talking about. Steaming and nose drops can reduce the complaints a little, medication isn’t required for sure. However, one or two painkillers to suppress the potential additional fever. Well, that doesn’t sound that bad, does it?
A child’s common cold is caused by different viruses but usually by rinoviruses and is pretty innocient. The complaints can be fairly annoying and limiting. It’s a virus of the upper airways that effects the throat, nose and bronchi in particular. The cold virus causes an infection of the mucous membrane in the nose, the sinuses and the throat thus reducing it’s protective effect. So an ordinary common cold doesn’t limit itself to the nose.
When the mucous membrane functions normally it produces a little mucus and moist in the nose-throat area. If the mucous membrane gets infected for example by a cold virus, it swells and will produce a significant higher amount of mucus. Your little one can get a stuffed nose. Mucus can run out of the nose or can leak into the back of the throat. The mucous membrane is irritated because of the infection which can develop a sneeze trigger in the nose or a cough trigger in the throat or airway. And so the party can commence.
Does it limit itself to mucus?
As mentioned before a cold doesn’t limit itself to to nose and due to an infection of the mucous membrane in the throat, your little one can also develop a sore throat. In this case the vocal cords are infected as well and can cause hoarseness. Then all of a sudden the house is so quiet. Well, besides the sneezing, coughing and snorting that is. And if that was’t enough, children can develop “mucus eyes” when suffering from a cold.
Yellow puss accumulates in the corners of the eyes causing your little one to wake up with sealed eyes in the morning. Don’t start scrathing it of with your fingers or a cotton swab! Relieve the eyes by gentey wiping the puss away with a cotton ball and clean lukewarm water. In contrast to us adults, a child can develop a fever during a common cold. A so-called sinusitis fortunaty isn’t very comon with small children. Because the sinuses aren’t of not fully developed jet.
How can you tell your child has a cold?
Stuffy nose or running nose
Loss of smell and taste
Causes & Triggers
How does a cold originate?
A cold is caused by a virus. There are a lot of different cold viruses but usually the rinovirus is the most common virus and is quite innocient. The crazy thing is that when your child suffers from a cold a couple of times in a row, it can be caused by another virus every time. A virus is easily spreaded via moisture drops in the exhailed air, via coughing and sneezing. These drops being inhaled by others. This risk is greatest when people are seated closely together in poorly ventilated areas (for example in the bus, tram or train, at school or at kindergarden.)
Can physical contact do any harm? Yes, because the virus can spread via a physical touch or by touching toys for example. When your child has a cold and has touched his nose and afterwards those hands will touch someone else or something, then most of the viruses receive access to others and will cause a new cold! Hooray!
Why do kids suffer from colds so often? Because the exposure of little ones to cold viruses is relatively little, which means they have hardly build up an immune system against the viruses. That’s the reason why children can easily get a cold 10 times a year. You almost can’t wait for them to be grown up, can you?
Advice & Tips
A cold virus usually passes by itself and you can hardly prevent it. Teach your kid to hold a napkin or tissue in front of the mouth when sneezing or coughing to prevent others from getting a cold.
Prevent extra irritation of the mucous membranes, such as smoke. Smoke can prolonge the cold, do not smoke in the same areas as your child.
Steaming can reduce complaints but won’t heal your kid any faster from a cold. Pay attention during steaming that your little one doesn’t burn itself to the hot steam or pushes over the bole of hot water. Therefore, never let the temperature of the water get above 60 degrees and don’t add anything to the water such as menthol. This may irritate the mucous membranes even more. Do not steam with children under the age of 2 because they have a higher risk of getting burned. Does your kid get stuffy from steaming?Stop immediately!
Nosedrops with salted water can also reduce complaints. The ready-to-use drops can be purchased at your local pharmacist or drugstore and come with a user friendly spray top or dropper. They are suitable for even the most little ones although babies and kids under the age of 2 often don’t like them too much. The best moment to give the drops is just before bedtime. If this realy won’t work? The tric that I often used on my kids was to drip the nose when they were finaly asleep. Not ideal but definitely effective!
Mucus eyes or sealed eyes? Don’t start scratching these with your fingers or a cotton swab! Relieve the eyes by gently washing the puss away with a cotton ball and clean, lukewarm water.
Treating a common cold
For this ailment goes as well that medication isn’t needed. A common cold will pass on it’s own. However, there are a couple of things that you can do to relieve the symptoms and with this the discomfort you kid experiences.
Are there any solutions for this? For sure, there are enough ways which can relieve the symptoms. Below you can find a couple:
Nose drops and noses pray Does your kid suffer of a stuffed nose especially and at night? Use nose drops for relief. For kids under the age of 6 just nose drops based on salted water. The nose drops and sprays based on xylometazoline that you would yourself as an adult, are not suitable for kids under the age of 6. They can get rare, but severe side effects from these. Children older than the age of 6 who experience a serious amount of complaints caused by a stuffed nose can use xylometazoline to help reduce the swelling of the mucous membrane. Don’t use this longer than 1 week. If used to often or too long it can damage the mucous membranes. Xylometazoline is available at your local pharmacist or your drugstore.
Inhalation patch With a worsened breathing and to relieve possible stuffiness, an inhalation patch containing ethereal oils can relieve the nose and improve breathing. These patches are suitable for children from the age of 2 and you apply the patch onto the clothes nearby the chest area. Never directly on the body. They are easily applicable and removable, the realesed vapors help to free the airways and sinuses and can provide a vaporized effect up to 8 hours and makes sure that your baby will sleep better. And so will you!
Cold balm A cold balm can be applied as a inhalation ointment on the chest and back a couple of times a day and especially before bedtime to relieve a worsened breathing and possible stuffiness. Vapors are releaved to help free the airways and sinuses. After the applicaton your kid will experience a sensation of relief. Never apply this ointment directly on the nose or around the eyes by the way. This will cause an irritating reaction as a result from the ingredients such as menthol. Inhalation ointment is suitable for children from the age of 2.
And don’t forget about the onion under the bed Yesssss, this was the advice that I got regularly and actually applied: a raw onion cut in half under the bed. Apparently, the aroma of the onion does more then you might think. If you think of the tears you shed yourself when cutting them it loosens a lot more then you would have expected. This in combination with elevating the bed was a regular routine in our home. By elevating the bed and so sleeping in a more upwards position, provided the kids with more relief which made them sleep better. Doesn’t help, it will definitelty not hurt trying!
How to continue?
How to continue with common cold?
As mentioned before you can’t heal a common cold and it will pass automatically. Even though the sneezing, coughing and snorting can persist for a couple of weeks. Even if the cold takes bit longer then expected or if the snot changes color there is no reason to use medication on your child such as antibiotics. You do a lot better by ensuring the right conditions that contribute to recovery.
Make sure that your little one drinks enough, a minimum of 6 to 8 glases a day. That it sleeps in a fresh, aired bedroom and definitely don’t dress too warm. And further more, just have the cold. Eventually it will all go away!