A common cold is considered to be one of the most frequent health problems that every parent encounters. As common and simple as it is, it does not prevent any parent to fret whenever their baby or their child is affected. It is a self limiting viral infection of the upper respiratory system that is often caused by rhinoviruses and coronaviruses. It is a type of pharyngitis or inflammation of the throat caused by a virus.
The common cold is one of the most common upper respiratory tract infections in the world.
An average child contracts more than 5 infections in a year. The common cold, together with other respiratory tract infection like influenza is diagnosed collectively as “influenza like illness”.
What are the common cold symptoms?
A common cold usually presents as nasal congestion, sneezing, runny nose, or even cough. It is often a mild illness which doesn’t keep a child from doing all his usual activity but there are times when a child with a common cold will have fever, headache and somebody pains. This is the point where the presentation overlaps with what we diagnosed as influenza, which is obviously more debilitating.
How do you get infected with common cold?
The common cold infection is transmitted through air, mainly by coming in to contact with the saliva or nasal secretions of someone who is infected. Any healthy person will get the illness when he breathes through the virus filled air caused by sneezing or coughing of an infected person. The main point of entry is the nose but anyone can also get infected if he gets in contact with a contaminated surface and then transmits the infection when he rubs his eyes or puts his hand on his mouth.
The viruses that causes the common cold continues to evolve and mutate, this is one reason why it is quite difficult to gain immunity from this illness and why there is no vaccine available up to date. Although this illness can be easily transmitted, there are several ways on how to prevent your child from suffering from this disease.
- Always ask your child to wash his hands with soap and water – since a common cold is a droplet born infection, it is very easy for it to be transmitted every time a child rubs his eyes or puts his hands on his mouth. The use of commercially prepared hand sanitizers was proven to provide very little protection in the prevention of colds especially among children.
- Stay away from adults or other children who are infected with a common cold – even a very brief contact with an infected person can cause the infection to be transmitted thus, it is better to let your child stay away from any person who is suffering from the illness.
- Get proper amount of sleep – studies have shown that a person who sleeps less than 8 hours a day has three times more likely to develop the illness when exposed to the virus.
- Make your child’s immune system stronger by giving him proper food and nutrients.
What is the treatment and management of common cold?
A common cold is generally a mild and self limiting disease. There is no medicine that has proven to shorten the course of a common cold.