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Teaching Kids About Colds

Most kids are no strangers to colds. We see them everyday at our Gilbert Pediatric Urgent Care. With over 200 different types of cold viruses traveling around the world, it’s safe to say that most of our children have had at least a touch of a cold at one point or another.

Colds, like any other sickness, are no fun for kids. When they are very little, it is difficult for them to understand why they feel so lousy and it feels like there is very little we can do to help them understand. As they get older and are able to communicate better, there are some key things we can teach them about colds that can make a difference in avoiding and spreading them to others.

What Is a Cold?

Start by teaching your child what a cold is. You obviously won’t be able to get too technical or lengthy with the explanation, but by pointing out that a cold typically affects their nose, throat and sinuses, you may help your child to identify symptoms easier. Explain that a cold is a virus and how viruses are different from infections. Infections can be treated with medicine or shots, but colds are different. The best cure for a cold is our own immune system.

How Do I Catch a Cold?

If you want your child to be able to identify the risk of catching a cold and how to avoid it, you may want to explain how they catch colds. Explain that most colds are passed from one person to another through very small drops of mucus that might float in the air when someone coughs or sneezes. These drops of mucus can be everywhere, which is why it is so important that we wash our hands frequently. Doorknobs, video game controllers, toys, books…if someone with a cold handles any of these items before your child picks them up, they might have spread the virus.

You don’t want to necessarily scare your child from ever setting foot outdoors again, but at least give them some idea of what causes a cold so they can take precaution against it.

Can I Give My Cold to Someone Else?

Teaching your child how to avoid spreading their cold is very important. Talk to them about covering their mouth with the inside of their elbow when they cough of sneeze. Show them an example by squirting water from a water bottle with a nozzle that can be set to a mist setting. Explain that when they sneeze, it’s much like squirting the water bottle and that those germs they cough or sneeze out can travel quickly. It’s important for them to understand that they can help prevent the spread of a cold.

Treating Sick Kids – Gilbert Pediatric Urgent Care

When your child is feeling super sick from a cold, be sure to call on AllKids Gilbert Pediatric Urgent Care and AllKids Mesa Pediatric Urgent Care for ideas on how to help alleviate some of the discomfort from pain. We can be reached at 480-633-1111.

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