Colds

How do you ease your child’s cold symptoms?

Our Daddy MD Guide’s reply: Almost 90 to 95 percent of coughs or colds are viral. If the symptoms have just started, then all the child needs is supportive care that includes plenty of fluids, warm liquids and over-the-counter analgesics for pain or fever. For congestion, it is best to use a warm-mist humidifier in the child’s room. Vicks VapoRub and saline water nasal sprays are also good options for children.

We generally avoid using over-the-counter decongestants in children less than five or six years old. Antibiotics are generally needed if the symptoms do not improve in seven to 10 days or they get really worse in five days. These are the same guidelines I follow when my own children develop a sniffle.

Adarsh K. Gupta, DO, a dad of five-year-old and six-month-old sons and an associate professor of family medicine at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-School of Osteopathic Medicine in Stratford (UMDNJ-SOM)

Q&A by Wyatt Myers