Colds and flu are illnesses every child gets at some time, and in the case of the common cold, quite often. It’s vital to know when your child needs extra treatment for their condition, and Ameeta Chowdhary, MSN, FNP-C, of Little Star Pediatrics in Avondale, Arizona, can help by accurately diagnosing the cause of the illness and providing effective treatments for any complications. Ameeta is a highly experienced family nurse practitioner who specializes in children’s health, so call Little Star Pediatrics today to find out how she can help.
Colds and flu (influenza) are common types of respiratory diseases that cause similar symptoms. They are both viral infections, which means that antibiotics have no effect on them.
The cold and flu viruses spread easily between people. When an infected person sneezes or coughs, tiny droplets of moisture containing the virus spread the infection.
Your child could pick up a cold by breathing in these droplets or by touching something that has the virus on it, like a door handle, and then touching their nose, mouth, or eyes.
Colds are more common than flu. Flu season, when an outbreak is most likely, runs from fall to spring. As cold and flu viruses spread so easily, they can quickly travel around a school or daycare facility, so your child is likely to get one or more colds every year.
As there are so many different strains of cold and flu viruses, symptoms can vary, but the most common include:
Flu and some colds also cause chills and shaking and an aching body. Your child might have a temperature when they have a cold. If it’s flu, they could develop a sudden fever measuring 101ºF or higher. Flu also typically causes nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, which aren’t usually symptoms of a cold.
Bronchitis is a complication your child might get after having a cold or flu. It’s an infection in the bronchial airways that take air into the lungs, and causes a chronic cough. Your child might be bringing up mucus that’s yellow or greenish, or sometimes white or clear.
Cold and flu are viral diseases, so there aren’t that many treatments and no cures. If your child gets sick, the best way to help them recover is to make sure they rest and give them plenty of love and care.
Like colds and flu, most cases of acute bronchitis are also due to viral infections. Antibiotics are only effective in treating bacterial infections, so they won’t work on viruses. However, a few cases of bronchitis can be bacterial in origin. Ameeta can run tests and advise you how best to treat your child’s bronchitis.
Painkilling medications suitable for children can help ease symptoms like headaches, sore throats, and aches and pains. Although the recovery rate varies depending on the strain of flu or cold, in most cases, it takes about a week for your child to get over the worst of their illness.
If your child also has an earache or says they feel a sensation of pressure in their head, or their temperature remains high, you should see Family Nurse Practitioner Ameeta Chowdhary at Little Star Pediatrics. You should also talk to Ameeta if your child has any other medical conditions that could increase the risk of complications.
There’s no vaccine against the common cold, but keeping away from people who have the virus and following basic good hygiene rules can minimize the risk. It’s also worth bearing in mind that exposure to diseases like colds in the early years helps build a stronger immune system, so having a cold isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Flu is generally more likely to cause problems, and the best way to protect your child against these risks is to make sure they see Ameeta for a flu shot each year.
To find out more about cold and flu management, and immunization against flu, make an appointment to see Ameeta at Little Star Pediatrics today.