Whether you call it a bug, a common cold, or just the sniffles, being sick is unpleasant and seeing your little one unwell is trying for parents. The cold and flu season will follow as soon as the temperatures drop, and kids begin to spend more time indoors and talking to each other. You don’t feel any better when you see your child suffering from a cough and a stuffy nose, knowing that cold and flu season is just around the corner. During cold and flu season, young children, especially those under two, are at high risk.

Your child will likely get sick. A cold is quite normal. There are a variety of viruses that cause the common cold. Every year, children get eight to twelve colds because there are so many viruses. Generally, the sniffles are nothing to worry about, and the cold will last between three and seven days-so; you don’t have to worry about them being sick for too long. In the meantime, you can take steps to help your child feel better as their immune system fights the virus.

Essential tips for parents to help children survive the cold or flu season

Consult a doctor if you have concerns about your child

It’s not always possible to help your little one recover entirely at home, even with the best at-home care. Call the Oakbrook IL Pediatrician and book an appointment right away if your child:

  • Having a fever longer than two days, or having a fever that reaches 104°F (40°C) or higher
  • If your child has a fever of 100.4″ F (38.6°C) or higher and is less than three months old
  • Is experiencing a fever that doesn’t go away after taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen
  • Is feeling tired or exhausted
  • Refusing to eat or drink
  • Short of breath or coughing

You should always consult your child’s pediatrician with questions or concerns about their health.

Provide plenty of fluids

To make your child feel better and reduce cold and flu symptoms, keep them hydrated. Dehydration is a side effect of fever. It’s crucial to encourage your child to drink plenty of fluids, even if they don’t seem as thirsty as they usually would. Infants under three months of age are especially vulnerable to dehydration. Consult your pediatrician if you believe your baby is dehydrated. Here are some possible symptoms:

  • Crying without tears
  • Results in a dry mouth
  • Soft spots that appear sunk in
  • Reduced activity
  • Urinating less than three times a day

Breastfeed your child more frequently than usual if they are breastfeeding. Babies who are sick may not want to breastfeed as often. If you want them to consume enough fluid, you may need to feed them several times over a short period. If your child requires an oral rehydration solution (like Pedialyte), speak with their doctor. Children should not be allowed to have sports drinks. Older children have more options for hydration. These may include: Smoothies, juice, soup, and flat white soda

When to give and what to give

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), children under age two should not take over-the-counter (OTC) cold and cough medications. The first step to treat fever or symptoms of a cold in a child under age two is to contact their pediatrician to determine if any medication is required. Fever is the body’s response to an infection. It is not always necessary to administer OTC medications when your child has a low-grade fever. Consult your child’s pediatrician if your child needs medication. When using children’s or infants’ acetaminophen (Tylenol), be sure to check the directions for dosing because they may be different. Analyze the bottle’s label to determine the amount of acetaminophen. Ensure you understand the number of milliliters or half-milliliters you should give your child and tell your child’s pediatrician what type you’re giving him.

Ibuprofen can also be in use to control fever or pain in a child over six months old. The cups that come with the bottle may be difficult to use for measuring medications. Talk to your local pharmacist if you’re concerned about using the provided measuring cup or search for Top-Rated Pediatricians Near Me and book an appointment at the earliest. In some cases, the pediatrician may prescribe a combination of antihistamines, decongestants, and pain relievers. Ensure you read all medication labels carefully so as not to overdose. For example, decongestants may include the pain reliever acetaminophen.

Your child could get sick if they take too much acetaminophen, such as a decongestant with acetaminophen and a different medication with acetaminophen. Make sure to write down which medication you gave, and the time you gave it so that you don’t give too much. If your child is 18 years old or younger, you should never give them aspirin. Children can develop Reye’s syndrome from taking aspirin.

Rest and clear up stuffed nasal passages 

Young children shouldn’t use nasal sprays containing medications. The good news is that there are several simple ways to clear up a stuffy nose without medication. Keep your child’s room humid with a cool-mist humidifier. It helps to break up mucus. Maintain a clean humidifier between uses to prevent mold from growing. In addition to using saline nasal spray or drops, thin mucus can also be blown out or removed using a bulb syringe with a saline nasal spray or drops.

An extra hour of sleep helps your child recover more quickly before feedings and bedtimes. A fever may make your child very hot. Avoid heavy blankets or excessive layers that might make them feel hotter. They can cool off and wind down with a lukewarm bath before taking a nap or going to bed at night.

Let the cough loosen

You can try giving honey instead of medicine to your child if they are over one year old. Two to five milliliters of honey is allowed several times per day. According to research, honey offers a safer and more effective alternative to cough medicines for children over one. Honey is not allowed to children under a year old due to the risk of infection.



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Oakbrook Pediatrics & Adolescent Center

3825 Highland Ave, Tower 1 #2C
Downers Grove, IL 60515

Phone: (630) 971-6511