Infections such as colds and the flu are common in children. These infections are caused by germs called viruses.
Children can easily spread these germs when they are in close contact, such as at daycare, school, and home. Your child can get germs from coughs or sneezes or by touching something that another person has coughed or sneezed on. And children have not yet built up immunity to these germs, so they get sick often.
Most colds go away on their own and don't lead to other problems. With most viral infections, your child should feel better within 4 to 10 days. Home treatment can help relieve your child's symptoms. Make sure your child rests and drinks plenty of fluids.
Most children have 8 to 10 colds in the first 2 years of life. There are ways you can help reduce your child's risk for getting sick, such as limiting your child's exposure to germs and practicing good handwashing.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: November 18, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Elizabeth T. Russo, MD - Internal Medicine
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