The common cold is called this for a reason—it is very common and not usually serious. Your child will likely have quite a few colds during their first few years!
What are the symptoms of a cold?
- Runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, coughing, and a mild sore throat
- Decreased appetite, headache, and tiredness in some children
- Fever, but it usually isn’t very high
How does it spread?
- Direct contact
- Indirect contact with germs from the nose or mouth (on hands, toys, tissues, etc.)
- Droplet transmission (when a child coughs or sneezes and droplets reach other children who are close by)
What can you do as a parent to help your child?
- Offer your child fluids and encourage him or her to rest.
- Give acetaminophen (such as Tempra®) or ibuprofen for fever.
NOTE: The Canadian Paediatric Society does not recommend giving ibuprofen to babies under 6 months old without first talking to your physician.
- Clear nasal congestion with a rubber suction bulb and saline (saltwater) nose drops.
- In older children, offer saltwater for gargling to help ease a sore throat.
- Consult a doctor if symptoms persist or worsen.