The most common illness occurring in children is the cold.
- Fever may be up or down around 102F for 2 to 3 days.
- Muscle aches and pains.
- Mild diarrhea.
- Mucus and watery discharge in the respiratory passages; this causes sneezing, runny nose, hoarseness, and coughing.
Management of the symptoms:
- Use a cold-air humidifier in your child’s room, as the fine moisture particles produced are soothing to the irritated respiratory passages.
- Give acetaminophen for the fever and pains (see medication sheet to determine dose).
- Normal saline nose drops, for the nasal stuffiness, are especially important in the infant, whose stopped-up nose prevents him from eating.
- Many cold medications are sold over the counter. These medicines are not recommended for children under 6 years of age, unless specifically directed by the doctor.
Complications of a URI are usually accompanied by a return of fever and localizing pain in the ear, throat, or chest. If these occur, or if the primary cold symptoms persist more than 10 days to 2 weeks, your child should be examined by a doctor. Antibiotics do not help in the uncomplicated viral URI, but they are useful in curing the secondary bacterial infections.