The common cold is an upper respiratory tract (nose and throat) infection caused by a virus.

The symptoms can be a runny nose, scratchy/sore throat, cough, watery eyes, sneezing, congestion, low grade fever, body aches and mild fatigue.

There are over 100 viruses that can cause a cold and preschoolers are at greatest risk to get frequent colds but anyone can be at risk during the most common seasons, fall and winter.

Colds can last seven to ten days and your secretions can thicken and turn yellow or green as it runs its course.


  • There is no cure for the common cold.
  • Antibiotics are of no use and do not hasten the recovery.
  • Over the counter (OTC) medications won’t cure or make the cold go away sooner and merely treat some of the symptoms and can often have significant undesirable side effects.
  • Pain relievers, decongestant nasal sprays and cough syrups all have significant complications associated with them and are not recommended in children under four years of age without consulting your Pediatrician first.
  • Lifestyle and home remedies are the best way to get through a cold.

Lifestyle and home remedies:

  • Drink lots of fluids.
  • Yes, chicken soup does help!
  • Rest.
  • Stay in a warm room with some humidity.
  • Salt water gargles and saline nasal spray/drops.
  • Zinc, vitamin C and echinacea.


  • Wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your face.
  • Scrub your stuff.
  • Use tissues.
  • Don’t share your stuff.
  • Steer clear of colds.
  • Choose your child care wisely.

Next week we will go over how to know when your cold has gotten the best of you and when you need to see a Doctor.