Cold and cough is caused by a viral infection, which can last for about two to four weeks. The symptoms include stuffy or a runny nose, coughing and sore throat. Many times, the infection may raise body temperature and the child may suffer from fever. Our body’s immune system naturally fights with such infections. Depending on the type of cough and the symptoms, the virus can stay active in the body for about 4 to 6 weeks. It is quite painful to see the child suffering from cold and cough. The symptoms of this infection are worse during the first two days.
The child will experience pain and irritation in the throat with difficulty in swallowing, frequent coughing with mucous, breathing difficulty and high fever. Most parents rush to over the counter drugs for cold and cough to ease of their child’s agony. However, most drugs/ cough syrups available over the counter only provide temporary relief. Medical evidence suggests that antibiotics do not kill viruses, thus, it is not advisable to treat cold and cough with antibiotics unless accompanied by another infection. So, what do parents do? Well, there is a lot that can be done.
Let’s first understand the type of a cough your child might be suffering from:
Apart from this, If coughing starts suddenly along with choking, the child may have inhaled a foreign body. Immediate help may be required. For babies less than 12 months of age, cold cough followed by breathing difficulties may indicate bronchiolitis and require a paediatric attention. A normal cold and cough generally subside with two to four weeks. However, it is important to understand when to consult a doctor.
Precautions and diet that should be taken care of
There is little we can do to prevent viral infections. However, proper care and caution can ensure a smooth recovery. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult a pediatrician.