Common Cold Treatment
Millions of dollars are spent each year on over-the-counter medications used for common cold treatment. Over-the-counter cough and cold medicine can make you more comfortable, but these medications are intended to treat the symptoms of minor conditions, not the underlying illness. Currently, there is no cure for the common cold. Therefore, medicines may relieve some of your symptoms, but will not prevent -- or even shorten -- the length of your illness.
Because most of these drugs have some side effects, such as drowsiness, dizziness, insomnia, or upset stomach, you should take them with care.
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Check with a pediatrician or your family physician before giving common cold medication to children. Your healthcare provider can ensure that you are giving your child the correct drug at the proper dosage based on your child's weight.
Saline nasal drops and suctioning with a bulb syringe can help infants and small children breathe better. But be gentle, because aggravating the nasal passages could make swelling worse. Also, dress sick children comfortably -- like you would dress yourself. Some parents bundle up their children if they have a fever, but that can make it worse.
A note of caution: Several studies have linked aspirin use to the development of Reye's syndrome in children recovering from flu or chickenpox. Reye's syndrome is a rare but serious illness that usually occurs in children between the ages of 3 and 12. It can affect all organs of the body, but most often affects the brain and liver.
While most children who survive an episode of Reye's syndrome do not suffer any lasting consequences, the illness can lead to permanent brain damage or death. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children and teenagers not be given aspirin or medicine containing aspirin when they have any viral illness such as the common cold.