- Runny nose and sore throat caused by a virus
- You think your child has a cold. Reason: family members, friends or other children in child care have same symptoms.
- Also called an Upper Respiratory Infection (URI).
- If your child has a cough, also see the Cough care guide. Reason: it can be a more serious symptom.
Symptoms of a Cold
- Runny or stuffy nose
- The nasal discharge starts clear but changes to gray. It can also be yellow or green.
- Most children have a fever at the start.
- At times, the child may also have a cough and hoarse voice. Sometimes, watery eyes and swollen lymph nodes in the neck also occur.
Cause of Colds
- Colds are caused by many respiratory viruses. Healthy children get about 6 colds in the first year.
- Influenza virus causes a bad cold with more fever and muscle aches.
- Colds are not serious. With a cold, about 5 to 10% of children develop a complication. Most often, this is an ear or sinus infection. These are caused by a bacteria.
Trouble Breathing: How to Tell
Trouble breathing is a reason to see a doctor right away. Respiratory distress is the medical name for trouble breathing. Here are symptoms to worry about:
- Struggling for each breath or shortness of breath
- Tight breathing so that your child can barely cry
- Ribs are pulling in with each breath (called retractions)
- Breathing has become noisy (such as wheezes)
- Breathing is much faster than normal
- Lips or face turn a blue color