Panic No More

Do you worry too much when your kids have the common colds? Here is a guide for moms so that you are in control when you children catch colds.

Fever, cough, and colds are the most common illnesses suffered by kids. These are mostly viral in nature. Now, what is the difference of viral from bacterial diseases.

A virus is a microorganism that needs a live human subject in order to survive. Outside the human body, they cannot replicate or multiply. The advantage of viral illnesses is that they are self-limiting. This means that as long as there are no other infections present, with a good immune system, they usually are not serious. The person gets well after the virus has reached the end of its lifespan.

The lifespan of a virus may last for hours or days, one of the worst, HIV or human immunodeficiency virus lasts for years. Once one gets infected by the virus, the body usually develops an antibody to combat the same kind of virus next time it enters the body. This is the premise for the development of vaccines. However, the cold virus has so many strains that someone with low immunity can get colds often.

Bacteria on the other hand are microorganisms that can survive outside a human host. They require an antibiotic in order for the infected person to get well. When uncontrolled, they could lead to complications and even death.

Colds are most commonly caused by a virus known as rhinovirus. Moms, therefore, should not panic when their children have colds. They are self-limiting. However, children should be taught proper hand washing techniques so that they will not spread the disease.

It is easy to spread the virus. When a person with colds wipes his / her nose with his hands and touches another person who in turn touches in nose, the virus is instantly passed on. It takes several days depending on how strong one’s immunity is before someone shows symptoms of having colds.

When your children catches colds remember that as increase in the usual fluid intake is necessary in order to help her expel the mucous in the nasal passages faster. Also, sometimes, one needs to take decongestants to relieve the stuffy nose. This is however, not advisable for very young kids.

To held relieve nasal congestion, mothers can make use of nasal sprays. Limit its use to 3 days only. Beyond 3 days, they may cause more problems than solutions. For fever, acetaminophen or paracetamol can be taken. Do not take an antibiotic for a common cold as this will not do anything to cure the colds.

If the colds last for more than 3 days and cough starts to develop, then, one should consult a doctor already. Colds may become complicated by bacterial infections that can cause otitis media (infection to the ear) and other bacterial infection that may affect the lungs such as pneumonia or bronchitis. Likewise, if fever persists longer than 3 days, other viral or bacterial infections may have set it like dengue, malaria or influenza.

Now, if your children have the common colds, do not panic. You already know what to watch out for, so relax because your child may get worse if he / she can feel that you are extremely worried about him / her. They might think that what they have is worse than the common colds.

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