How to treat colds in children
What IS A COLD ?The common cold or rhinitis is an infection of the nasal cavities, caused by a multitude of viruses of which most belong to the rhinovirus or coronavirus families. It is a very common winter illness. Although adults will only usually develop 2 or 3 colds a year, children can catch up to 6 and babies up to 10. This difference can be explained in part due to the mature immune system of an adult being able to neutralise these viruses. In children, whose immune system is still developing, the viruses are not always eradicated and then go on to cause a cold. As well as having less effective immune systems, children are also more prone to colds because cold viruses are so easily spread between children, especially in the school environment. Play and other communal activities are therefore sources of contagion.
The cold remains, however, a fairly mild illness that should clear up on its own in 5 to 7 days on average.
THE SYMPTOMS OF A COLD ?Two to three days after infection by the virus, the first signs of a cold start to appear. In general these are a sore throat, sneezing and nasal congestion. Soon after, a runny nose will appear, sometimes together with a mild fever or headaches. Although the nose at first runs clear, this may change if a secondary infection develops, although not always. Your child may also develop a wheezing, bronchial cough especially if he or she already has asthma.
The cold can be quite easily distinguished from the ‘flu, which is also common at the same time of year. In the case of ‘flu, the feeling of fatigue, fever and headaches will be more intense and your child will also complain of aching muscles, which is not the case, or at least very mild, with a cold. Colds can appear very similar to allergic rhinitis, however in this case symptoms will last for several weeks and are rarely accompanied by a cough or fever. If in doubt or if your child’s cold seems to linger, your doctor will be able to assess and diagnose the condition. Equally, you should see your doctor immediately should your child develop a high fever, persistent pain in the ears or face, or have difficulty breathing. These are all often signs of complications from the cold and occasionally require specific treatment.
Why and how to treat colds in children ?The cold is usually a mild illness, which will clear up on its own in a week on average.
There is no ‘real’ treatment available for the cold itself and antibiotics have no effect on viruses. Your child may be prescribed other medicines to ease symptoms, however. Fever and headaches are usually treated with paracetamol. Medicated decongestants cannot be used in children under 15 years old due to their side effects, which can sometimes be serious. Their use even in adults requires precaution. Should your child also develop a cough try to avoid suppressing it too readily without your doctor’s opinion: a cough is the body’s way of effectively removing mucus and preventing the cold from spreading to the chest.
Other simple actions can help to ease a cold and speed recovery:
- It is important to ensure that your child gets plenty of rest. This helps the immune system to fight the virus.
- Make sure that your child has plenty to drink to avoid dehydration.
- Keep the air in your child’s room humid in order to prevent the nose from drying out.
- Avoid smoky environments. Passive smoking weakens the mucous membranes in the nose, leaving your child more vulnerable to colds and other complications.
- It is vital to make sure that your child blows their nose well.
- Nasal cleansing
Nasal cleansing with PHYSIOMER, an effective ally in treating a coldExperts recommend nasal cleansing with saline solution for treating colds and other upper respiratory tract infections. Unlike other products, PHYSIOMER has the advantage of being simple, sterile and practical so that your child can carry out their own nasal hygiene routine. PHYSIOMER acts on several levels:
- Because it hydrates the nasal cavities it also moistens secretions and helps to remove them. Once the nose is clear your child can then breathe more clearly.
- By increasing the movement of the cilia (the small hairs covering the nasal cell surface), it reduces contact between the viruses and the nasal membrane, therefore reducing their affect.
PHYSIOMER’s effectiveness in the prevention and treatment of colds and further complications has been studied in 390 children. Used together with cold and rhinopharyngitis treatments, PHYSIOMER Kids:
- Significantly reduces symptom severity (runny nose, congestion and sore throat), and speeds recovery :
- Improves breathing by 45%
- Reduces the use of medicines
- For children aged 6 and over, PHYSIOMER Eucalyptus enables you to unblock the nose in only 3 minutes. 54% of users said that they found PHYSIOMER Eucalyptus more effective than their usual decongestant.
Even if the cold remains a minor illness, using PHYSIOMER helps you to ease your child’s cold sooner helping to get them back on their feet. PHYSIOMER Kids is a reliable and effective solution to help treat your child’s cold.
For children over 6, use together with PHYSIOMER Eucalyptus for a rapid decongestant.