How To Treat a Cold

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Kid's Doctor

Posted on January 12, 2014 at 6:01 AM

It’s the sick season and colds are rampant right now.  Everyone is asking: what is the “quick fix” to get rid of a cold?  Unfortunately, when it comes to a cold…nothing is quick. 

The common cold starts with a runny nose then a scratchy throat followed by a cough.  Your child may tell you they just feel “yucky”. 

Don’t be alarmed if your child’s mucous turns from clear to colored.   A green runny nose does not mean a bacterial infection, so need to  ask your doctor for an antibiotic…they do not help the common cold and are not needed. 

The only proven treatment for a cold is a tincture of time and treating your child’s symptoms will help them feel better, sooner.

Here’s what I recommend to my patients: 

-For a runny and stuffy nose…start with a hot shower to loosen up the secretions. 

-You can also try nasal suctioning with a bulb syringe or a nasal aspirator for young children. 

-For older children, I encourage saline rinses with an irrigation system like a Neti pot.  Many of my patients swear by it. 

At night, place a cool mist humidifier in your child’s room to add some moisture to the dry heat in the house.  

You can expect your child’s cold to last about 7 to 10 days.  Don’t forget to tell your kids to cover their nose when they sneeze and wash their hands to stop the germs from spreading to everyone in the family. 

I’m Dr. Sue with The Kid’s Doctor helping parent take charge.

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DISCLAIMER: The Kid's Doctor content is provided by (and is the opinion of) KidsDr.com and Sue Hubbard, M.D. Pediatrician.

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