Whenever the temperature starts turning colder, we all know that the cold and flu season will inevitably come back. While there is no cure for a cold yet, there are still some steps you can take to help your child feel better. Read on to know how to treat a cold in a toddler and what symptoms you should know about.
What Causes a Cold in Toddlers?
While there are more than 200 viruses that can cause the common cold in toddlers, the most frequent and common ones are rhinoviruses. The fact that the cold virus lives in the air and exists on the surface makes it so easy to spread. Additionally, there are other factors that might lower your child’s resistance to cold like the weather, dry air, and smoke.
The Symptoms of the Common Cold
Common cold symptoms in toddlers tend to start with a runny nose, sneezing, and end with a cough. Fortunately, most toddler cold symptoms are similar to those in adults and aren’t very severe. Here is the list of toddler common cold symptoms you should know about:
- Runny nose
- Dry cough
- Congestion or stuffiness
- Watery eyes
- Sore or scratchy throat
- Mild fever (101 to 102°F) especially in the evening
- Loss of appetite
- Fatigue and crankiness
- Slightly swollen glands
Normally, a toddler cold can last between 7-10 days. But, it may continue for up to 2 weeks. And, the cough, one of the last cold symptoms to appear, can hang on even longer. Sometimes it can last up to a month. Also, keep in mind that the common cold is quite contagious, so it may spread for a couple of weeks after your child falls ill.
Bear in mind that antibiotics will have no effect on the common cold, as they’re made to only treat bacterial infections. Also, most fevers don’t require medication either, as they’re simply the body’s way of fighting an infection. So, if you are too worried about your kid’s systems, please consult your doctor.
How to Treat a Cold in a Toddler
Because there’s no cure for the common toddler cold, but there are some methods that help ease their pain. From using a cold-mist humidifier, choosing suitable toddler clothing to applying ointments, here are the home remedies for kids’ colds that actually work.
Warm Water with Honey and Lemon
A warm drink like warm water with lemon offers hydration and soothes a sore throat. For over 1-year-old toddlers, you can also add honey to help ease swelling in the upper respiratory tract. According to several studies, swallowing one teaspoon (15 mL) of honey before bed can actually help your kids get a better night’s sleep. But, remember that kids under the age of one should never have honey due to the risk of infant botulism.
Keeping Your Kid in the Right Toddler Clothing
Even though the toddler’s common cold is not actually related to the cold, letting your kids wear the right clothes gives them more comfort during fevers. As mentioned above, mild fever from 101 to 102°F is a symptom of the common cold. So, it’s not a great idea to keep your little one in thick and unbreathable outfits, as this may make the situation even worse. In fact, you can easily find a wide range of toddler clothing that keeps your child comfortable with breathable fabrics. These toddler clothes not only offer better airflow but also help dry out the sweat.
Saline Spray and Drops
Saline drops and mists can help with common cold symptoms as they clear out mucus and allergens from your toddler’s nose. In addition, you can also raise the head of your toddler’s crib or bed a little bit by putting a couple of pillows underneath the mattress. However, note that this method is only safe for children that are 1 year old and older.
See Your Doctor
We strongly advise parents never to give cough and cold medications to toddlers without permission from doctors as this can cause serious side effects in young children. In fact, the AAP also recommends parents always check with their pediatrician before offering cough or cold medications to children under the age of 6. So, always remember to consult your doctor first!
We hope these cold remedies can help your toddler feel better while fighting the common cold. If you have any comments, just let us know in the comments.