A common cold is something that parents are all too familiar with. if you have a child in daycare, colds begin at a young age. For others, you may not notice a large amount of colds until they begin elementary school. No matter the age of your child, there’s no denying that they get colds more often than adults, but do you know why that is?
What Causes a Cold?
A common cold is caused by bacteria entering the body and causing an upper respiratory infection. There are multiple types of cold causing bacteria so it’s difficult to build an immunity and there is no vaccine available since it isn’t a virus. There are old wise tales about cold weather causing colds, but that’s a myth! The only way to catch a cold is through contact with cold-causing bacteria.
How Are Colds Spread?
Colds are spread when the bacteria enter through the nose, eyes, or mouth of your child. Colds are highly contagious and the bacteria can be spread in a number of ways. If your child is in close proximity to someone suffering from a cold and they cough or sneeze, the bacteria enters the air and your child may breathe it in. Bacteria also has the ability to live on surfaces after an infected person has touched them. In children, schools provide the perfect opportunity for bacteria to spread quickly. With multiple shared surfaces and plenty of time spent talking and playing with their peers, it isn’t surprising that when one kid gets sick, the entire school seems to get sick.
Prevention for Common Colds
Preventing colds in children isn’t easy. The first step is to teach your kid the importance of handwashing, and then hope that they practice it even when you’re not there with them. teach them to sing the Happy Birthday song twice in their head while they wash, this helps ensure they’re washing their hands long enough. Remind them to always sneeze or cough into the elbow, not their hands. Ask your child’s school what measures they take to help prevent the spread of colds throughout the school!
Treatment for the Common Cold
With children, even the best preventative measures aren’t always enough. If your child is suffering from a cold, it’s best to keep them home from school to avoid getting their classmates sick. While they’re home, offer plenty of fluids, encourage them to rest, and use over the counter medications to manage their symptoms. If your child begins to get worse or their symptoms linger for more than a week, take them to the local urgent care center for treatment.
Urgent care centers are open earlier and later than traditional doctors offices, so getting the treatment they need will always fit into your schedule!