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Don’t panic – it’s only your child’s first cold

Author GreatDad Writers
Submitted 06-01-2012

As a father, you take great pains to make sure that your family is as comfortable and well-cared for as possible. This is especially true in the early days of parenthood when every minor bump or bruise your child experiences can send you into panic mode. However, a large part of being a parent is coming to terms with the things you cannot control in your child's life. Sooner or later, he or she will come down with his or her first cold – bringing coughing, sneezing, sniffles and a sore throat along with it.

While you may be initially tempted to call the local hospital and request they prep the ER, the common cold is exactly that: common. The National Center for Health Statistics reports that this familiar ailment occurs about 62 million times every year – with about 20 million school days missed as a result. In addition, many young children average between two to six colds per year.

With these statistics in mind, your best course of action is learning how to effectively manage your child's symptoms when they do appear. Even if you've somehow managed to avoid the common cold at home, day care centers and preschools will inevitably expose your little one to other contagious children or adults.

Plenty of rest and a healthy diet are the best treatments for your child. Over-the-counter medicines will also help to alleviate symptoms such as congestion, fever and sore throat – just make sure they are age-appropriate. Unless you receive direction from your pediatrician, don't use antibiotics, as these will only make his or her immune system less resistant to future viruses, according to the Centers for Disease Control. If your progeny attends school or daycare, allow him or her to stay home for a few days to recover. With some rest and time, your child will be feeling his or her normal self again.