Colds

It is inevitable that every child at some time will catch this common viral illness. There are more than 100 strains of viruses that can cause the common cold, and symptoms may last between 7 and 14 days. Children in daycare or mothers-day-out programs often get 7-12 colds per year.

If your child is younger than 24 months of age, we generally recommend saline drops in the nose followed by suctioning of the nose with a nasal aspirator to facilitate breathing. Repeat as necessary, especially before feedings and bedtime or naps. Elevate the head of bed to a 20-30 degree angle to allow gravity to assist in drainage. Encourage frequent amounts of fluids because your child's appetite may diminish.

For children over age 2 years, a trial of over-the-counter remedies may prove beneficial in addition to frequent fluids for temporary relief of symptoms. These medicines may make your child feel better but will not make the virus go away any sooner. Benadryl dosing is 1 teaspoon for 22-44 pounds and 2 teaspoons for over 44 pounds. Dimetapp/triaminic dosing is 1/2 teaspoon for 18-23 pounds and 1 teaspoon for 24-47 and 2 teaspoons for over 48 pounds. Do not use combination preparations such as Tylenol Cough and cold or Dimetapp/triaminic with cough medicine. We want to treat all symptoms separately.