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Posts for tag: Cold

By Child & Adolescent Clinic
November 05, 2018
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Child Care   Cold   Flu  

Cold Vs. Flu

Is it a cold or the flu? When it comes to your child's health, your pediatrician provides great information and guidance on the most common illnesses plaguing families. If you are wondering about the exact nature of your child's illness and how to treat it, learn the differences between a cold and the flu and how to treat and prevent them.

What is a cold?

A cold is an upper respiratory viral infection lasting 5 to 7 days in both adults and children alike. Generally milder in intensity and shorter in duration than influenza, a cold causes:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • A runny nose
  • Tiredness
  • Low-grade fever
The Centers for Disease Control states that most healthy children experience 8 to 10 colds by the age of two years.
 
What is the flu?
 
The flu is a much more serious viral infection. Of sudden and intense onset, the flu usually comes with:
  • High fever
  • Body aches
  • Cough
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Severe headache
  • Chills
Also, the flu lasts longer and debilitates sufferers. It carries dangerous complications, particularly with young children, the elderly, asthmatics, diabetics and those with weak immune systems.
 
Treating colds and the flu
 
Treating a cold involves rest, fluids and decongestants as needed. The onset of a cold is gradual, and so is recovery. Typically, your child will not need to visit the pediatrician if he or she has a simple cold. Simple symptom relief works well. However, high and persistent fever merits a call to your child's doctor.
 
Regarding the flu, your pediatrician may do an in-office Rapid Influenza Diagnostic Test (a throat or nasal swab) to confirm the diagnosis. They may prescribe antiviral medication and instruct on how to monitor a young child's symptoms. Keep your youngster well-hydrated, and administer acetaminophen or ibuprofen as directed.
 
If flu symptoms escalate (labored respirations, severe headache, rapid heart rate or anything that seems unusual to you), take your child to the nearest hospital ER for evaluation. Pneumonia is a frequent and life-threatening complication of influenza.
 
Prevention is the best medicine
 
Protect all members of the family with these simple measures:
  1. Eat a healthy diet.
  2. Stay well-hydrated.
  3. Avoid crowds during peak cold and flu season.
  4. Keep your child home from daycare and school if he or she is sick.
  5. Teach your child to cover his or her mouth when coughing or sneezing.
  6. Don't share food or utensils, even with family members.
  7. Vaccinate against the flu. Ask your pediatrician for your child's "shot."
Trust your pediatrician
 
They work hard to prevent acute illnesses such as colds and the flu. The doctor and professional team are great resources for prevention, healing and overall well-being for your children.
By Child & Adolescent Clinic
March 06, 2015
Category: Pediatric Health
Tags: Cold   Sinusitis  

Common ColdPut on your detective hat—are you suffering from the common cold or sinusitis?  Many people mistake a common cold for sinusitis, and vice versa.  The symptoms of a cold and a sinus infection can be quite similar to each other because the same viruses often cause both conditions.  Additionally, since the nose and sinuses are connected, it is possible for viruses to move easily between the nasal passages and the sinuses. 

Your child may feel run down, have a low-grade fever, post-nasal drip, and a sore throat.  So is it a common cold or a sinus infection? Typically, a cold can definitely morph into a sinus infection, but there are some classic symptoms for each illness that can help distinguish between the two.

The Common Cold

With a cold, there is a cluster of symptoms that your child might be experiencing, including:

  • Nasal congestion
  • A run-down feeling
  • Runny nose with clear discharge
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Post nasal drip
  • Fever may be seen in children, but not often in adults

If your child has a cold, they may even experience a cough or a headache, and it can often last from three to seven days with or without any treatment.  Your child develops a cold from a virus in which the symptoms usually build slowly over the course of a day or two, peak by days three or four, then slowly improve around the fifth or seventh day. 

With a cold, treatment might include supportive care, fluids and chicken soup.  Drinking plenty of water is also beneficial as it helps to hydrate your child.  By hydrating your child through water consumption, you can help to flush out the infection because it liquefies the mucus.  There are also medications available to help make your child more comfortable as the cold passes.

Sinusitis

Sometimes colds can set in the sinuses and cause swelling, which then prevents the flow of mucus and turns the cold into a sinus infection.  Sinusitis is the inflammation of the sinuses that can be caused by a cold, an infection or allergies. Any swelling of the sinuses can produce symptoms such as:

  • Pressure or pain behind the eyes or cheeks
  • Pain in the top teeth
  • Congestion
  • Green or yellow nasal drainage
  • Headache
  • Post nasal drip

Your child may also complain of being tired, having a difficult time breathing through his or her nose, decreased sense of smell, and restless sleep.  If your child develops a cold every month or every other month, this is because his or her sinuses are flaring up and it is probably not a cold, but chronic sinusitis. 

The main difference between a common cold and sinusitis is that a cold comes around once a year and lasts for three to five days, and then is gone and your child most likely will not experience it again until next year.  Acute sinusitis typically lasts less than four weeks, with chronic sinusitis lasting more than 12 weeks.  So if your child’s symptoms last more than a week, odds are they are experiencing a sinus infection and should visit Longview Location. 

By visiting your child’s pediatrician in Longview, you can help your child breathe easy once again.  Whether it is a common cold, or a more serious sinus infection, your child’s pediatrician is available to help relieve their symptoms.