Although the cold and flu have almost similar symptoms, the fact is they are two totally different conditions caused by two distinctly different viruses. As such the treatments too differ.
Symptoms And Treatment For A Cold
The most common symptoms of a cold are a runny nose or a stuffed nose and a congested chest. Sometimes this is accompanied by a cough, body ache and a low fever.
The primary treatment for cold aims to ease these symptoms so that your child may be more comfortable. Nasal decongestants are often prescribed to provide relief for older children. These work by constricting the blood vessels so that the nasal lining does not swell and block the nasal passage.
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Other over-the-counter medication may sometimes be prescribed to reduce the fever and alleviate the body pain.
Symptoms And Treatment For Flu
Fever and an all-over achy feeling are the common symptoms of the flu. These are sometimes accompanied by a cough and cold.
The primary treatment for flu aims to reduce the fever and ease the body ache.
How to protect your child from getting a cold or the flu
The cold and the flu are both contagious. Most children contract the virus through their children that they come in contact with in school, at the day care or in the park. Avoiding these places is almost impossible. However there are a few things you can do to minimize the odds.
Making sure your child washes their hands after they come home from school or the park is one of the best protective measures you can take. While this may not be possible all the time, try and keep them away from other children who are sick to minimize the risk of exposure.
Should You Give Your Child Antibiotics To Treat A Cold Or The Flu
Many parents rush to give their child antibiotics in the hope that their child will get well sooner rather than later. The truth is these do not work on either colds or the flu because both of these conditions are caused by viruses.
Sometimes however, when the symptoms persist for an extended period of time, they are often followed by a bacterial infection such as a sinus infection or an infection of the ear canal. If this happens, antibiotics may be necessary.
Note of caution – antibiotics should never be given to children without first consulting your child’s pediatrician. In fact it is a good idea not to give your child any type of medication unless prescribed by the pediatrician who will first conduct a thorough diagnosis and only then recommend the appropriate medicines.