Colds: The Facts
Colds are a viral infection of the nose and throat. They are also called a URI or upper respiratory infection. Since your child will have many colds every year, it would be wise for you to become an expert on them.
First the bad news, cold germs are mainly transmitted to your child from the hands of another child who is suffering from a cold. The virus is then brought to the nose by normal face-touching habits. Since cold viruses can survive on toys, door knobs, and other objects for up to three hours, they’re also passed to your child’s hands by such contaminated objects. Airborne droplets of germs from sneezing or coughing are a rare means of cold transmission.
Now the good news, cold weather, cold winds, drafts, air conditioners and wet feet do not increase the chances that your child will come down with a cold. Finally, don’t be overly concerned about Influenza. It’s caused by a special virus, but most children handle it fine. You probably won’t even be able to tell influenza from a bad cold.
If you have other questions about colds, consult your healthcare provider.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. FAAP
Last Review: 6/1/2008
Last Revised: 6/1/2000
Copyright 1994-2008 Barton Schmitt, M.D. Parent Advice Messages.