Colds happen when a virus irritates (inflames) the lining of the nose and throat. Colds can be caused by more than 200 different viruses. But most colds are caused by rhinoviruses.
To catch a cold, your child must come in contact with someone who is infected with one of the cold viruses. The cold virus can be spread:
- Through the air. If a person with a cold sneezes or coughs, small amounts of the virus can go into the air. Then if your child breathes in that air, the virus will stick inside your child’s nose (nasal membrane).
- By direct contact. This means that your child touches an infected person. A cold is easy for children to spread. That’s because they touch their nose, mouth, and eyes often and then touch other people or objects. This can spread the virus. It’s important to know that viruses can be spread through objects, such as toys, that have been touched by someone with a cold.
hen your child gets a cold, it starts when he has a general feeling of not being well, often followed by a sore throat, runny nose or cough.
At the beginning, the sore throat is due to a buildup of mucus. Later, your child may get a postnasal drip — when the mucus runs down the back of his nose to the throat.
Colds are the worst aren’t they? Here’s 10 tips to keep your child cold free!
Anywhere but the face!
Children frequently paw at their faces: poking, picking, scratching, and rubbing their nose, mouth, eyes, and ears. And every time they do, they’re unwittingly doing germs a tremendous favor, delivering them straight into vulnerable, easily-infected orifices. While it might seem that the mouth or nose is most susceptible, it’s our kiddos’ dewy eyes that are most at risk of absorbing viral particles. To avoid drifting pathogens, try teaching your children to minimize eye-rubbing and to shut their eyes tight or walk away whenever someone sneezes or coughs near them.
Teach Good Sleeping Habits
Making sure your child gets enough sleep is a crucial part of keeping her healthy. Sleep is important not only for a child’s physical and emotional health but it can play an important role in how well she does in school, too.
Healthy after school snacks
Kids are often ravenous after school. But you don’t have to sacrifice good nutrition for convenience. Use ideas for quick, easy, and healthy after-school snacks.
Cover sneezes and coughs
Sneeze and cough into the crook of your elbow or a tissue – not your hands, Dr. Esper says. And be sure to wash your hands afterward.
Keep your hands off your face
Younger kids, especially, display some questionable habits when it comes to touching their faces. Teach them to keep their fingers out of their mouths, noses and ears.
Use hand sanitizer.
When warm water and soap are not available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be another effective defense to keep hands germ free. But parents should use caution, especially with young children, as hand sanitizer can be dangerous if consumed. Keep out of reach of children.
The sticky-sweet goo is a must-have if your child has a sore throat or a cough. In fact, of all the cold remedies our panelists use with their own kids, this one seemed to come up most frequently. Many moms serve it straight up in a spoon or mix it into a cup of warm water (or electrolyte-enhanced water), but some get creative.
Act at first sneeze
As soon as they suspect a cold may be brewing ( just call it doctor-mom’s intuition), 60 percent of our panelists spring into action. So what happens next? Pushing fluids (usually water) and canceling optional plans.
Let them play in the sun till they’re pooped
A good rule of thumb: Let your children’s legs run freely so their noses won’t. Even when it’s cold, urge your children to scamper outside and play — especially when bright sunshine peeps through the winter snow, rain, and fog. Sunshine delivers the almighty flu-and-cold-fighting vitamin D, which an American Journal of Clinical Nutrition article asserts is far superior to vaccines for flu prevention because it activates our protective killer T-cells.
Disinfect your house.
No one enjoys scrubbing countertops and toilets, but doing so can reduce the number of germs in your house. Be sure you are disinfecting toys and household surfaces, especially kitchens and bathrooms.
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