If your child has a cold, a trip to the doctor isn’t going to do much to make him feel better. A visit to the ENT doctor might make you feel a little relief, with the assurance that it isn’t sinusitis or something more serious, but that’s about all.
Most colds are caused by viral infections that medication cannot really affect. The best thing to do is to treat the symptoms and let the virus run its course. Your child’s immune system will fight it off, and they will feel better in a few days. If a cold lasts more than 7-10 days, though, you should definitely take your child to the doctor.
An ear, nose, and throat doctor will be able to diagnose whether something more serious is going on or not, prescribe medication, and give you advice for at-home treatment. If it has been less than a week and your child seems to have a common cold, you can help them recover with these tips for treating a cold at home.
Better Out Than In
Put a box of tissues next to your child’s bed and make sure that they use them. If you notice a lot of sniffling, gently tell them to blow their nose. Encourage them to cough up phlegm rather than swallowing it back down. This will prevent the sore throat that often comes with draining sinuses toward the end of a cold. It can also help shorten the cold’s cycle, as that mucous is full of germs that can keep your child sick longer.
Cleanliness is Healthiness
Whilst on the subject of getting rid of germs, let us talk about containment. If one member of the household gets sick, it can be hard to keep everyone from getting sick. However, you can win the battle if you make sure that germs stay contained and that everyone in the house washes their hands regularly.
If your child is feeling too sick to get up and wash their hands, just keep a bottle of hand sanitiser next to the bed. You do not want to overuse hand sanitisers, but they can be very useful when there are excess germs floating around.
Throw away dirty tissues immediately, and wash your hands before and after you check on your child, and you will less likely get sick yourself. Your job is to help your child get well, and that is a lot harder if you get sick too!
Apply Hot or Cold Compresses to the Sinuses
If your child has pain or pressure around their sinuses, you can treat this with a hot or cold compress over the nose and eyes. This will relieve pressure, and it can help clear the sinuses, too.
Add an Extra Pillow
Sinuses drain more easily when you are sitting up, so give your child an extra pillow to sleep on while they are feeling ill. You can prop them up to a reclined seating position during the day and then leave them in that position or just slightly more reclined at night. The more upright they are, the easier they will breathe.
Chicken Soup and Orange Juice
These two tips are not new but are still effective – chicken soup is full of anti-inflammatories. Orange juice is packed with vitamin C. In addition to making sure that your child is well hydrated, add these to at least one meal a day to make them feel better.
Again, if it seems like symptoms are not subsiding or are getting worse, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with your child’s ENT doctor. If it’s just a cold, these tips should help treat it at home, but if it’s sinusitis or some other bacterial infection, your child may need antibiotics.
If you have any questions about treating a cold at home be sure to contact your local doctor. Where needed for complications of a cold such as tonsillitis or sinusitis, arrange to see an ear nose and throat specialist.
- Cold remedies – Mayo Clinic
- 8 Tips to Treat Colds and Flu the ‘Natural’ Way – WebMD
- 12 Home Remedies for the Cold – WebMD