Children and the Common Cold: Top Tips to Keep Them Comfortable

Children are susceptible to colds.  Their desire to touch nearly anything in their reach—the grocery store cart, other children’s pencils at school, playground gear—makes them a veritable germ magnet.  Unfortunately, there is no vaccine for the common cold.  With hundreds of strains of cold viruses roaming the world, the best we can often do is just help kids to feel comfortable while their body fights this illness time and again.

1. Plenty of Fluids

When kids don’t feel well, they can easily neglect to hydrate their bodies.  While a loss of appetite is understandable and usually alright for a day or so, a lack of fluids can lead to dehydration in a short time.  Be sure your child is drinking plenty of fluids; in fact, the fluids can actually help your child better combat the virus better.

2. Soup: A Natural Remedy

Most people have heard that chicken soup is one folk remedy that genuinely seems to work.  Most importantly, it can’t hurt!  The broth will ensure that your child is taking in fluid and the vegetables and chicken will give them added sustenance.  The warm liquid can even sooth a sore throat while the fact that it tastes good might even bring a smile to a child’s face.  When a cold strikes, it’s the number one comfort food for both children and adults.

sick kid soup

3. Cold Syrup

Before administering any over-the-counter remedy, it’s a good idea to consult the child’s doctor.  A cold syrup will not get rid of the virus, but it will provide your child some relief from cold symptoms like a cough, runny nose, sore throat, headache, etc…Be sure to read the dosing instructions and adhere to them exactly.

4. Soft Tissues Only!

Children can easily go through a box of tissue during a single cold.  Instead of scratchy tissue that can lead to added soreness around their nostrils, consider buying the softest you can find which will help them feel more comfortable.  They might even avoid using a tissue that isn’t soft and no parent wants that!

5. Rest

Many parents are surprised that even when their child has a cold, they still want to go out and play.  Rest, however, is important as it allows the body to steer its energy stores in the direction of fighting the virus.  Light napping and early bedtimes can help a child feel better rested in spite of the symptoms they may be feeling.

5. Distraction

When a child feels miserable, it can help to keep their mind off their aches and pains.  A good story or a cuddle can lessen their woes if only for a short time.  This is also the ideal time to indulge their love of cartoons and simply let them watch to distract them from their cold.

6. Use a Humidifier

Dry air can aggravate cold symptoms so many healthcare providers recommend the use of a humidifier.  The added moisture will likely be noticed and your child is sure to feel some improvement—even if it’s only a small improvement in the way they feel.

Colds are never fun for kids, but parents can make this sickness more bearable with these simple tips.  It’s important to monitor a child’s cold so that it doesn’t lead to a more severe illness like bronchitis or pneumonia.  If cold symptoms worsen, sometimes it’s best to consult a healthcare provider right away for professional advice.

Leonardo Dawson

Leonardo Dawson is an avid blogger who likes to write about health issues. His articles appear on various medical websites.

One thought on “Children and the Common Cold: Top Tips to Keep Them Comfortable

  • April 30, 2013 at 7:20 am

    “Most people have heard that chicken soup is one folk remedy that genuinely seems to work. Most importantly, it can’t hurt!” Of course it can’t hurt! Homemade chicken soup or broth is loaded with calcium which the body needs when it’s detoxing which is what a “cold” is. The important thing is to make the child comfortable and help their body detoxify as quickly as possible.


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