We know seeing your child sick is tough. You’re ready to do anything to make them feel better and your first instinct might be to take their temperature. A fever over 100 degrees can mean they have the flu or another illness, but generally, anything below that likely means it’s just a cold. Colds are often caused by viruses and can last anywhere from 2-3 days to 10 days and may be accompanied by symptoms such as runny nose, cough, sore throat, headache, body aches/pains, sneezing, and congestion.
Here are 7 ways to help your child:
1. Give your child plenty of fluids and make sure they get enough rest. Rest gives the body time to process and recover. Ensuring your child drinks plenty of fluids is also important.
2. Apply a cool compress to the chest, back, or neck may feel good if the child has a temperature. It should not be so cold or applied so long that the child shivers. This can help reduce body temperature in the case of a fever or reduce overall muscle and body aches.
3. Drinking warm liquids can feel good on a sore throat, and some provide additional benefits! Chicken soup has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties which can help fight a cold.
4. Offer children age-appropriate pain medication such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) if they are over six months old.
5. Make sure that you stay away from any cold virus yourself to avoid passing it on to your kids. Take precautions this cold and flu season like washing your hands, avoiding close contact with others, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
6. Be sure to protect your children from viruses in public places, especially when their immune system is weak. According to the Boston Children’s Hospital, we should prepare for a rise of cold and flu cases in children in the post-pandemic, hybrid school world. If your child is feeling sick, keep them home to allow for maximum rest and recovery time with limited exposure to additional germs. If your child needs to venture out, practice clean health habits like hand washing and distancing.
7. Keep a humidifier handy. Dry air, especially in Colorado, can further irritate breathing passages making an uncomfortable situation worse. Keeping the air moist will make breathing more comfortable and, hopefully, lessen coughing.
We know that when your child is sick, you want to make them feel better as soon as possible. That’s why we recommend trying out the above techniques to help your child through a cold and keeping them safe from additional exposure to other viruses or illnesses.
While we hope these work, it’s also important to know when to see a doctor.
Contact our team of experts at (970) 494-2626 or visit our website to find a location near you if you have questions about how to care for your little one or think they may need to see a professional.