When a child ends up with common cold, it is vital that you know how to properly care for the child. Remember that there are special considerations when caring for a child since they do not always have the similar symptoms as adults or necessitate similar treatment.
Measures when caring for a child with common cold
If a child has common cold, always check his/her temperature. Children with common cold is usually accompanied by fever more often than in adults. Nevertheless, if the fever reaches 102 degrees F or persists for more than 3 days, a doctor should be consulted to ensure that there is no serious underlying condition.
Always make sure that any medication that is given to the child is suitable for children and focuses on the symptoms alone. If the child has a stuffed nose and fever, there is no need to use a multi-purpose cold medication that treats a cough too. It is ideal to provide medications that only treat one symptom at a time. In addition, also check with the doctor so that the right dosage is suitable for the child’s weight and age.
Staying at home
The child should stay home to rest if he/she has fever. Remember that this is the period when the child is highly contagious and more likely to spread the condition to other children.
Make sure that the child is given enough fluids to drink but avoid giving soda or too much juice. The electrolyte drinks are suitable for replacing the lost nutrients once the child is not eating well, but it is vital not the substitute more than half of the fluids with these beverages.
If the child does not have an appetite when sick, do not worry. Unless for infants, it is not an issue of concern if the child will not eat well for a day or two as long as he/she is still drinking and stays properly hydrated.
Rest is vital part of the treatment. There is no need to limit activity entirely but provide the child with enough time for naps and sleep. Remember that children do not usually play if they do not feel like it.
Possibility for a serious condition
You have to check the breathing of the child. If the child appears to experience difficulty while breathing, a doctor should be consulted. If there is a cough that becomes worse or does not subside after a week along with persistent fever, fatigue or indications of dehydration, a doctor must be consulted as well.
If the symptoms of common cold persist for more than 10 days, a doctor should be consulted as well.