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Cold and Flu Treatment and Prevention Tips
If the child is suffering from cold and flu, parents should immediately contact the pediatrician, especially if the child is having difficulty breathing, if their appetite has gone way down, if they have a high fever that lasts more than a couple of days. Those are the signs that a cold could be getting worse and progressing into another illness. That’s about time to bring your child for an exam.
The most common thing that doctors recommend is to increase the intake of fluids. Another suggestion is to give a teaspoon of honey and warm water for children 1 year and older at bedtime. This will help suppress cough and allow the child to sleep better at night. Often a warm bath can also be helpful.
Parents should be careful with giving their children steam vaporizers because it can be dangerous. It can cause burns, especially in young children.
A cool-mist humidifier is another alternative to moisturize the air, to increase mucus flow, and to decrease the bad feeling of having mucus stock in the nose.
Parents can give their children acetaminophen and ibuprofen to help control fever or extra pains. For example on colds and cough, a child can get a sore throat, it can be helpful to give pain medication. Also, fever can make children feel achy all over, so using a fever control medicine can help them feel better.
Parents should not give their children Benadryl or other antihistamines because it can have the effect of thickening secretions and making it harder for a child to breathe. It also can have the effect of sedation or sleepiness, and this could be dangerous.
Aspirin should not be given to any children under 18 because of the risk of Reye syndrome. Reye syndrome is an illness of the liver which causes liver failure. So, for fever and pain, the only safe medications are acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Aspirin should not be given to children.
In order to prevent cold, the best way is to use a careful hand washing. Not to shake hands with someone and then directly touch your nose or your mouth. Not to share glasses, cups, or towels especially in winter time when people are inside because they are more likely to pass germs between each other.
Actually, going outside into the cold does not cause a cold. It’s just the way that the name of the common cold is derived. People noted over history that when people were outside and they got cold, they seem to catch a cold.
To prevent influenza, the virus that causes the flu, a flu vaccine should be given to everyone over 6 months old. One good treatment for nasal congestion in infants is saltwater nose drops, it can either be purchased or made at home by using a 1/2 tsp of salt and 1 cup of water. Drip into the nose, several drops at a time, and suction out with plastic suction bulb. This can be very effective in clearing the nose of babies and helping them to be able to eat better.