Cold (1928)

Key points below

What is a cold?

A cold is caused by a virus. There is no medicine that can stop the cold virus or make it go away faster. Children's bodies fight the cold virus without extra medicine.
Colds may last up to 14 days. Fevers with a cold go away in about 3 to 4 days. A cough may last 14 to 21 days.

How can I help my child?

Your child needs plenty of rest.
Offer plenty of fluids. For older children, warm fluids like soup or tea with honey can soothe a sore throat or cough.
For cough, if your child is over 1 year, offering a 1/2 teaspoon of honey may help. For children older than 6 years you can offer 1 teaspoon of honey.
Use a cool mist humidifier in your child's room. It can help your child breathe more easily. Be sure to clean it often using the directions from the company that made it.
Use salt-water or saline nose drops to loosen mucus in your child's nose.
Suction baby's nose using a bulb syringe or Nose Frida. This helps before sleeping, eating, and as needed.
Good hand washing will prevent others from getting sick.

When should I come back to the Emergency Room?

If your child:
Is breathing faster or harder than usual.
Has signs of being very sick. This includes sleeping all the time, not drinking fluids or says there is more pain when breathing.
Has signs of dehydration.  This includes not crying tears, dry mouth, no pee (urine) for 8 to 10 hours, or has poor activity.


Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any questions or concerns or if your child has:

Has new ear pain or sinus pain.
A sore throat that lasts more than 2 days or is more painful.
A fever of 101 F or higher that last more the 2 days.
A cough that last more than 7 to 10 days.
A runny nose that lasts more than 14 days.
Yellow discharge from the eyes that starts and lasts more than a day.
Special health care needs that were not covered by this information.