Thursday, September 4, 2014

Common Cold in children : Concerned Parents

A child may catch cold several times in a year. Common cold is a benign condition but raises a level of anxiety and concern in parents and is pretty much obvious. After all children are as delicate as they look.
Cough is a common symptom that causes a big concern in parents and commonly they are worried about their child having a chest infection - Pneumonia. Another symptom that worries parents is noisy breathing that may be a simple nasal blockade but can be due to Asthma, Croup and other conditions.

The common cold are symptoms caused by a number of different viruses. More than 100 virus cause cold but  rhinovirus, the type of virus responsible for the greatest number of colds. Other are enteroviruses (echovirus and coxsackieviruses) and coronavirus.

Common Cold common symptoms

Children under 6 years get average six to eight colds per year.

Although  colds occur during the fall and winter months,in any geographic location, it can occur though out the year. It is transmitted from person-to-person, either by direct contact or by contact with the virus in the environment. Colds are most contagious during the first two to four days.
Droplets containing viral particles can be exhaled into the air by breathing or coughing. Rhinoviruses are not usually transmitted as a result of contact with infected droplets, although influenza virus and coronavirus can be transmitted via small droplets. Cold viruses are not usually spread through saliva.

What are the Common Cold Symptoms?
In children, nasal congestion is the most prominent symptom.
Children can also have clear, yellow, or green-colored nasal discharge;
Fever (temperature higher than 100.4ºF or 38ºC) is common during the first three days of the illness.
Sore throat
Cough
Irritability
Difficulty
Sleeping
Decreased appetite.
Red and swollen nasal area
Neck lymph nodes may become slightly enlarged.

What are the Complications of Common Cold?
Most children who have colds do not develop complications.
However, parents should be aware of the signs and symptoms of potential complications.
Ear infection — 5 - 15 percent of children with a cold develop a bacterial or viral ear infection.
If a child develops a fever (temperature higher than 100.4ºF or 38ºC) after the first three days of cold symptoms, an ear infection may be to blame.
Asthma - noisy breathing also referred to as wheezing, called Reactive airway disease in smaller children
Sinusitis
Pneumonia- high grade fever, lethargy, fast breathing, cough and child looks toxic.

COMMON COLD TREATMENT 
 Symptomatic treatment —
1. Plenty of fluids - hydration
2. Warm clothing and warm environment.
3. Nasal care- Cleaning and in older children - steam inhalation with soother can be helpful. Steam inhalation in small children should be avoided as it can cause burns.
Saline nasal drops can be used in case of nasal stuffiness and blockade
4. Adequate rest - speciially children in daycare centres and school should be let to stay warm at home.
5. Antipyretics- High fever can cause discomfort and irritability. Dose of Antipyretics can be given for fever exceeding 100.4 F PRN.
6 Children may present with wheezing
   - Such children may require immediate doses of Nebulization with Salbutamol and if improves can be discharged on oral beta2 agonist

Usually Antibiotics are Not needed as Viruses don't respond to antibiotics. So requesting doctor for an antibiotic and administering over the counter antibiotics are not recommended.

When to seek Medical Help?
Refusal to drink or feed
Inconsolability and undue irritability
Lethargy (decreased responsiveness - Sick/toxic looking);
Difficulty breathing,
Fast Breathing
High grade fever greater than 101ºF (38.4ºC) lasts more than three days.
Vomiting
Convulsion

Such children need immediate medical attention regardless of time - night or day


0 comments:

Post a Comment

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.