The common cold has several symptoms that can make you uncomfortable, affecting your eyes, ears, nose, and throat. The virus peaks in popularity due to drier air and colder weather, as well as spending more time in close proximity with other people. This is why you see a dramatic uptick in colds and coughs in the winter when people are spending more time inside. Colds are extremely common, with some students experiencing as many as twelve colds per year and missing school to recuperate from symptoms. Knowing when your child has a simple cold and when further treatment is needed is important to make sure they’re back on their feet and in the classroom in no time!

What you should know about the common cold virus

When your child first exhibits symptoms of a cold, you may think that it’s just the starting stages of the flu. However, the cold and flu viruses have many differences: the cold does not typically involve a fever and can resolve itself within a few days. The flu lasts longer and can be prevented by getting an annual flu vaccination. The cold cannot be treated with antibiotics. Symptoms may include:

  • Stuffed and/or runny nose
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Congestion (heightened levels of clear, green or yellow mucus)
  • Short throat

If you or your child develop a cold, there are many ways you can provide relief for their symptoms. If they need to stay home from school for a day, make sure they rest. By staying put and getting sleep, the body is able to fight against and beat the virus. If you have a humidifier, have that running with the setting up to 50% in order to add moisture to the air in the room. Make sure your child is consuming plenty of fluids including water, soups, fruit juices and sports drinks, which keep them hydrated and replenish nutrients and electrolytes. Do not give your children over-the-counter Tylenol or aspirin. This can lead to a condition called Reye’s Syndrome, which can cause liver and brain damage in children.

When should you call the doctor for cold symptoms?

The cold can typically resolve itself within a few days. However, more persistent or serious symptoms should be seen by a doctor for more specialized care, including:

  • Symptoms that do not improve after 10-14 days
  • Ear pain or tugging on ears
  • Trouble breathing
  • Swollen glands
  • Chest or stomach pain
  • High fever (over 101 F)

Cold Treatment in Hillsdale, NJ

If your child is beginning to develop the first stages of a cold or have sustained symptoms, visit AFC Urgent Care Hillsdale today! Our urgent care center is open seven days a week and accepts walk-in patients. If you have questions about treatment, please call 201-523-9222