Congestion and the common cold

Did you know the average preschooler has more than six colds a year…

I know what you are thinking, my family has just come off the back of a run of snotty noses. Whilst this is not the most glamorous topic, I have a few tips for you coming into the cooler months. If this is your first winter it is worth being a little prepared.

Children have more colds than the average adult because they have not had the chance to build up their immunity. You are more likely to have a cold in winter than summer. The viruses that can cause colds are spread by sneezing, coughing and hand contact. I know this sounds so simple but hand washing and cough etiquette are great skills to teach your children.

Myth buster: getting wet or being cold does not cause a cold.

The symptoms are the same for adults and children. These can include, but are not limited to having a cough, snotty or congested nose, sore ears and throat. The Raising Children Network explore these symptoms in more detail and when to seek medical assistance. 

There is no cure for a cold, rather managing the symptoms. These are my top five tips for surviving a cold.

  1. Be prepared- make sure you know your child’s weight and have some paracetamol in the cupboard, of course you will need to follow the instructions on the box!
  2. If you child is unwell, take things easy. Ideally rest and sleep however, quiet play is also good. I would encourage you to keep them home until they are are feeling better.
  3. Offer fluids regularly. This may be more frequent breastfeeds or formula feeds. They may have more smaller feeds. If they are older offer water regularly as well.  
  4. Try a vaporizer or humidifier. There vaporisers are ultrasonic cool mist. (They don't recommend steam vaporisers for good reason as they create excess condensation, heat and potentially mould spores.) Our friends at Snotty Noses have this covered, they have lots of other gadgets!
  5. My last tip is one I have mentioned earlier but can not say enough, wash your hands regularly and help you children learn the importance of good hand hygiene.

Sleeping patterns may not be the same whilst your little one is unwell. That is okay, I encourage you to be a little more flexible. This can be a huge challenge for some parents but rest is the key to feeling better. Your infant may have two naps instead of one, a longer nap than usual and only want to fall asleep lying on you. All of these changes are temporary and once your child is better I encourage you to refocus on your routine. Some children create new habits very quickly whereas others it takes longer. Its okay to give more cuddles during during these times and reestablish your routines when they are feeling better. If you need a hand developing your own routine get in touch.