Making sure your child eats a well-balanced diet and exercises regularly are essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, your child may still develop simple illnesses that cause many uncomfortable symptoms. Considering that most children develop up to 8 colds each year, understanding this common infectious disease is imperative. Of course, you may not fully understand the common cold and how it affects your child and your home. Using this guide of facts, you will have a better understanding of your child's cold.
Vitamin C Is Helpful
You may believe your child should drink large amounts of orange juice to ward off a cold, since oranges are rich in vitamin C. While it is not a cure, increasing the intake of vitamin C can ease symptoms and decrease the length of your child's cold.
Scientists believe taking vitamin C when symptoms first begin will shorten the duration of colds by 14 percent in children. As soon as your child begins developing the symptoms of a cold, give them a vitamin C supplement.
The Cold Doesn't Cause a Cold
Colds temperatures do not cause colds, viruses do. However, both you and your child are more likely to develop a cold in the winter, since the air is dry. The dry air causes the mucus lining of your child's nose to dry out. Without a proper mucus lining, bacteria and microbes can enter the body, increasing the risk of viral infections.
The cold air may weaken your child's immune system, but it is not the root cause of their cold.
Chicken Soup Is Good for Colds
Many children enjoy the taste of soup, but giving your child a hot bowl of chicken soup is actually an effective treatment for their common cold.
The hot broth is not only delicious, but it can also improve the flow of mucus through your child's nasal passage. This improved flow filters bacteria out of your child's body, reducing the cold's duration and easing uncomfortable symptoms.
It is difficult to determine which of the ingredients are most beneficial for helping with the common cold, but scientists recommend using the following steps to make a delicious, hot, and healing chicken soup:
- Clean a 5-pound chicken and place in a pot with cold water.
- Bring the water to a rapid boil, boiling the chicken for a few minutes.
- Add a small package of cleaned chicken wings to the pot.
- Dice up 3 large onions, 1 large sweet potato, 3 parsnips, and 11 carrots. Place in the pot.
- Allow the ingredients to boil for approximately 1 ½ hours. Scoop out fat that has accumulated in the water.
- Dice up 5 celery stems and a bundle of parsley. Add it to the pot and boil for 45 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the pot after boiling.
- Pour the boiled vegetables into a food processor to chop them up until they are very fine. Pour back the vegetables back into the pot of water.
- Add a few teaspoons of salt and pepper to taste.
Complications May Arise
Stuffy and runny nose, sneezing, coughing, and a light fever are common symptoms, but your child may also experience a few complications that stem from a basic cold.
Many children will experience light pain in their ears. In most cases, this pain is not due to an infection, but it may be from fluid that has built up inside their ear canal.
Your child's doctor can prescribe ear drops that will allow the ear to drain in a more efficient manner. Ibuprofen is also effective for reducing discomfort.
Conjunctivitis is another complication that may develop due to a common cold. Also known as pinkeye, conjunctivitis causes inflammation in the protective membrane of the eye. The condition can be painful, so your child will need prescription antibiotics and eye drops to treat this inflammation.
The common cold may be common, but you may not fully understand this virus. With this guide and the help of a pediatrician, you will have a better understanding of your child's cold. Talk to a pediatrician to find more information.