My Little Masterpiece

Winter Coughs and Colds: How to Help Your Little One

Coughs, colds and viruses are quite normal for children. In fact, the NHS says that a child can have eight or more per year. The normal childhood illnesses are usually quite upsetting for parents, and it can be overwhelming trying to find ways to help your child, especially in the middle of the night. These tips can help you help your little one deal with winter coughs and colds.

 

coughs and colds

 

Colds

Colds are one of the most common childhood illnesses. Children are more susceptible to cold viruses for a few reasons, one of them being that there’s hundreds of different cold viruses, and young children haven’t developed the same level of immunity that adults have.

 

Colds generally aren’t serious, but they can make it difficult for your little one to sleep at night. Most colds will clear up within around a week, but some can linger on for a little longer. These tips can help your child recover from a cold.

 

  • Make sure your little one drinks plenty of fluids. Keeping them hydrated can help their bodies fight off the virus faster.

 

  • Children over six may be able to have over the counter medications such as cough and cold medicines, or decongestants. They may have age-appropriate paracetamol.

 

Sore Throat

It’s not uncommon for children to get a sore throat alongside a cough or a cold.

 

  • Age-appropriate paracetamol can help ease any pain and discomfort from a sore throat.

 

  • Children can also have a soothing cup of warm honey and lemon. Mix the juice of half a lemon, and two or three teaspoons of honey with hot water. Let the drink cool until it’s warm, not hot, and encourage your child to drink it. Remember that honey must not be given to babies under 12 months old.

 

Croup

Croup is another common childhood illness. The symptoms include a harsh, barking cough. Croup will need to be diagnosed by your GP, but in most cases, it can be treated at home.

 

  • Your GP may prescribe an inhaler, or a nebuliser to help ease your child’s breathing.

 

  • You may also want to let your child breathe in steam, as moist air can help ease the cough and throat. Fill up a bath with warm water and let your little one stay in the bathroom for five to ten minutes. Bring a book, toy or game, so that your child doesn’t get bored and remember not to leave your child unattended.

 

  • You might find that your child’s cough gets worse at night, so encourage them to sleep with their head elevated. However, children under 18 months shouldn’t have pillows, so only try this tip with older children.

 

If symptoms persist, or your child is worsening, make sure to consult your GP or a healthcare practitioner for advice. If at any point your child has trouble breathing, take them to A&E or call 999.