Now that children are back to daycares, pre-schools, and schools, I am starting to see more and more cases of the common cold. The common cold is so ‘common’ that school-going children can get up to 6-8 episodes in a year! And it does not help that there are more than 200 viruses causing the common cold. On average, it takes 7-10 days for an adult to recover fully and 14 days for children.
Tell-tale signs of the common cold
Headache or body ache
A low-grade fever may also be present in younger children.
How can you reduce the risk of the common cold in your child?
Encourage frequent handwashing with soap and water.
If soap and water are not available, an alcohol-based sanitizer would be the next best option. Viruses that cause the cold can live on the hands; hence frequent hand washing reduces the risk of infection.
Avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth as these are the sites of entry for germs!
Stay away from people who are sick.
What are the steps to follow whenever someone within the family is down with a cold?
– Anyone who is unwell should wear a mask even while at home, especially when there are other people around.
– Close contacts such as hugging, kissing, or touching should be avoided.
– Good cough etiquette such as coughing or sneezing into tissues or sleeves should be practiced at all times.
– Frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, tables, chairs, and toys should be disinfected often.
Boost your children’s immune system
Ensure your children have a well-balanced diet, keep them active through exercise, and not to forget their annual flu shots.
There is no vaccine for the common cold. However, the steps mentioned above will help to reduce the chances of your child catching one!
Dr. JoAnn Rajah is a child specialist that provides pediatric care to baby and children in Selangor and KL. Her core strength lies in diagnosing early signs of child health issues and guiding parents on how to manage them.