The common cold is an infection of the upper respiratory system, meaning it affects only the throat, nose, and ears. It is usually caused by a virus, most commonly the rhinovirus or coronavirus, but over 200 viruses can cause colds. Since there are so many, it’s virtually impossible to create a vaccine or shot that will prevent your or your child from catching a cold.
How Your Child Can Catch A Cold
When a person has cold mucus buildup forms in the nose. When that person coughs or sneezes, that sends minute amounts of virus-filled mucus into the air. If your child is anywhere near this person, he or she could breathe this virus-filled mucus droplets in and get a cold.
Another way your child can get a cold is if he or she touches rubs his eyes or nose after touching an object that a sick person has touched and transferred cold viruses on to. Your child can catch a cold in crowded places such as a mall, his or her school or daycare. Door handles, food and drinks, and school desks can all be breeding grounds for viruses.
When your child catches a cold, the virus attaches to the inside of his or her nose. The virus then takes control of the cells that line your child’s nose and starts to create more viruses.
Sneezing is a common symptom of colds. A person or child with colds sneezes because the nerves sense the irritation in the nose and signals the lungs to send a blast of air through the nose and mouth. A sneeze can travel as fast as 100 miles per hour or even faster.
Colds Signs and Symptoms
Illnesses offer clues that let you and your child’s doctor know your child is sick. These clues are called symptoms. When your child catches a cold, it will take a couple of days for the symtoms to start. Check if your child has any of the following symptoms:
• Runny nose
• Nasal congestion or stuffy nose which makes breathing difficult
• Watery eyes
• Itchy or sore throat
• Body chills
• Low fever (37.2 to 37.8 ° C or 100 to 101 ° F)
• Feeling tired
• Loss of appetite
If your child has one or more of these symptoms, he or she most likely has a cold.
How To Help Your Child Feel Better
Colds usually go away on their own. Still it is good to know that our bodies have a built-in cold cure, the immune system. Our immune system helps our bodies fight illnesses. It sends white blood cells to fight whatever is causing the illness, which in this case is the cold virus, and causes cold symptoms. Though there are no vaccines or medications available that can actuallly cure a cold, what you can do is to alleviate the symptoms of your child’s cold to help him or her feel better. Here are some of the things you can do:
• Give your child hot food and drinks. Hot food and drinks ease coughs and soothe sore throats while helping clear mucus. One of the more popular foods for colds is chicken soup.
• Steam. Giving your child a steam bath helps clear a clogged nose. You can also run a humidifier to ease an irritated throat.
• Make your child blow his or her nose to get rid of mucus.
• Make sure your child gets plenty of rest.
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Deborah Williams is a child care expert consultant on a non-government organization promoting environmentally friendly cleaning products and eco friendly cleaning.
BabyGanics is the manufacturer of natural baby products made with all-natural ingredients for effective and non toxic cleaning.
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