Posts for tag: Common Cold
Learn the telltale symptoms that should have you picking up the phone and scheduling an appointment with your child’s pediatrician.
Every year between the months of October and May is cold and flu season. While the cold or flu can happen at any point throughout the year, these months usually produce the highest prevalence of these annoying viruses. Each year spells millions of common cold cases in the US alone. While adults typically experience about two to three colds a year, children experience even more. Find out if your child’s symptoms are indicative of a cold, and when your child should see their pediatrician.
Symptoms of a Cold
The common cold causes a host of symptoms that can manifest differently in everyone;however, the most traditional symptoms include:
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
Most people will experience a full recovery from their cold symptoms with a week to 10 days;however, children and adults with compromised immune systems or other respiratory disorders like asthma can develop more serious complications like pneumonia, so it’s important to monitor them to make sure their symptoms don’t get worse.
Common Cold Treatment
No one likes to think about it but unfortunately the common cold doesn’t have a cure. However, there are certainly things you can do to ease your child’s symptoms. Be sure that any over-the-counter cold medications you use are followed exactly as directed to prevent further issues. If you are unsure about any medications talk to your pediatrician first about whether it’s right for your child. This is highly recommended as many OTC cold medicines contain ingredients that aren’t suitable for children.
When to See Your Pediatrician
If your child is displaying any of these symptoms then it’s time to call your pediatrician:
- A fever over 100.4 degrees F
- Symptoms that last more than 10 days
- Symptoms that seem severe or odd
Also, if you have a little one that is under three months old who has developed a fever, this also warrants a call to your pediatrician.
If your child is displaying any of these symptoms or something just doesn’t seem right, trust your instincts! Call our office right away and schedule an appointment. Let’s get your little one feeling better!
Your child is sneezing, coughing and congested. Is it the common cold? Or is it seasonal allergies? And what is the best way to give them relief from these symptoms?
Allergies and colds often have overlapping symptoms, including a stuffy or runny nose, cough and low energy. It can be difficult for parents to know whether their child is battling a stubborn virus or having an allergic reaction.
Kids with a cold may feel achy and develop a sore throat, cough, runny or stuffy nose and low-grade fever. A cold usually doesn’t last longer than a few days before it starts to improve. Since common colds are viral infections, they can’t be cured with antibiotics. To ease your child’s symptoms or discomfort, make sure your child is getting plenty of fluids and rest.
If your child’s stuffy nose lingers for several days, this may be an indication that they are suffering from allergies and not a cold. In fact, allergy symptoms can last for weeks to months.
Telltale signs that your child has allergies and not a cold include:
- Cold-like symptoms linger for more than a few weeks
- Chronic (continual) cough
- Mucous is clear
- Persistent stuffy nose
- Itching of the nose, ears, mouth and/or throat
- Itchy, watery, red eyes
- Puffiness around the eyes
- Wheezing, difficulty breathing and other respiratory symptoms
- Unexplained bouts of diarrhea, abdominal cramps and other intestinal symptoms
In some cases, reducing the triggers that are causing the allergic reaction can control many allergy symptoms. This may include washing your child’s bedding and toys to remove dust and bacteria, bathing pets regularly, vacuuming your home at least once a week and replacing furnace and air filters every few months.
Although common colds and allergies have similar symptoms, there are distinct clues that help parents differentiate one from the other. When in doubt about your child’s symptoms, always contact your Edison pediatrician.
Does My Child Have a Cold?
Colds may be common, but that does not mean caring for your child’s cold is easy. To help your little one feel better, Nimisha Shukla, MD, your pediatrician in Edison, is available to offer tips on what you need to know about your child’s cold. The common children’s cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract that usually lasts a week or two.
The typical preschool-age child may experience 6-10 colds per year. Most colds resolve on their own with rest and fluids, but some may lead to ear infections, sinus infections, asthma attacks, or other complications.
Caused by viruses, colds can be spread through a sneeze or cough. The virus may also be spread indirectly, through touching the hand of a healthy person, or even by using door handles with your hand you may have just sneezed or coughed into. Once the virus is present and multiplying, your child will develop the familiar symptoms and signs:
- Runny nose
- Mild fever, particularly in the evening
- Decreased appetite
- Sore throat
- On-and-off irritability
- Slightly swollen glands
Many parents become confused about the proper way to treat a coughing, sneezing child, because colds and allergies often have overlapping symptoms. When in doubt, talk to your Edison pediatrician who will know exactly what is causing your child’s symptoms, especially if they are persistent or worsen with time.
If your child has a typical cold without complications, the symptoms should disappear on their own after seven to ten days. Your Edison pediatrician may want to see your child if symptoms do not improve and is not completely recovered within one week from the start of their illness.
Contact Nimisha Shukla, MD, your pediatrician in Edison, for further treatment, and to better understand your child’s cold symptoms.
Put on your detective hat—are you suffering from the common cold or sinusitis? Many people mistake a common cold for sinusitis, and vice versa. The symptoms of a cold and a sinus infection can be quite similar to each other because the same viruses often cause both conditions. Additionally, since the nose and sinuses are connected, it is possible for viruses to move easily between the nasal passages and the sinuses.
Your child may feel run down, have a low-grade fever, post-nasal drip, and a sore throat. So is it a common cold or a sinus infection? Typically, a cold can definitely morph into a sinus infection, but there are some classic symptoms for each illness that can help distinguish between the two.
The Common Cold
With a cold, there is a cluster of symptoms that your child might be experiencing, including:
- Nasal congestion
- A run-down feeling
- Runny nose with clear discharge
- Sore throat
- Post nasal drip
- Fever may be seen in children, but not often in adults
If your child has a cold, they may even experience a cough or a headache, and it can often last from three to seven days with or without any treatment. Your child develops a cold from a virus in which the symptoms usually build slowly over the course of a day or two, peak by days three or four, then slowly improve around the fifth or seventh day.
With a cold, treatment might include supportive care, fluids and chicken soup. Drinking plenty of water is also beneficial as it helps to hydrate your child. By hydrating your child through water consumption, you can help to flush out the infection because it liquefies the mucus. There are also medications available to help make your child more comfortable as the cold passes.
Sometimes colds can set in the sinuses and cause swelling, which then prevents the flow of mucus and turns the cold into a sinus infection. Sinusitis is the inflammation of the sinuses that can be caused by a cold, an infection or allergies. Any swelling of the sinuses can produce symptoms such as:
- Pressure or pain behind the eyes or cheeks
- Pain in the top teeth
- Green or yellow nasal drainage
- Post nasal drip
Your child may also complain of being tired, having a difficult time breathing through his or her nose, decreased sense of smell, and restless sleep. If your child develops a cold every month or every other month, this is because his or her sinuses are flaring up and it is probably not a cold, but chronic sinusitis.
The main difference between a common cold and sinusitis is that a cold comes around once a year and lasts for three to five days, and then is gone and your child most likely will not experience it again until next year. Acute sinusitis typically lasts less than four weeks, with chronic sinusitis lasting more than 12 weeks. So if your child’s symptoms last more than a week, odds are they are experiencing a sinus infection and should visit Nimisha Shukla, MD.
By visiting your child’s pediatrician in Edison, you can help your child breathe easy once again. Whether it is a common cold, or a more serious sinus infection, your child’s pediatrician is available to help relieve their symptoms.