Coughs and colds (respiratory tract infections) are common and children can catch between six and twelve colds per year.
A 'common cold' is different to the 'flu'. Both are respiratory diseases but they are caused by different viruses. While a cold usually affects the nose and throat only, flu symptoms are more intense and tend to make the whole body ache.
Causes of coughs and colds
There are more than 200 viruses (germs) that can cause a cold. These viruses are spread via droplet infection e.g. sneezing, coughing or hand contact.
Signs and symptoms
Symptoms may include various combinations of:
Swelling of lymph glands
Stuffy or runny nose
Loss of appetite, and sometimes nausea and vomiting
Most symptoms typically last between three and seven days, however a cough may last one to two weeks longer.
How do I manage coughs and colds?
Check with your GP or Guardian pharmacist before giving cough, cold and flu medicine to children, especially those younger than six years.
You can also ask your Guardian Pharmacist about methods of relieving cough and cold symptoms such as:
Relief for fever (if present)
Warm drink suggestions to soothe the throat
Treatments to ease a blocked nose
Helpful tips on coughs & colds by your Guardian pharmacist
To help prevent the spread of colds:
Cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing
Keep hands away from eyes, nose and mouth
Use paper tissues to blow nose, and throw away after use