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Common Cold


Is a contagious infection of the upper respiratory tract, the infection is a self-limiting viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. Most episodes end within 14 days, beyond this consider causes of chronic cough. Children are more prone and can get up to eight episode per year.

Children with colds presents with 

  • Irritability

  • Sneezing

  • Sore throat

  • Cough

  • Headache

  • Mild fever

  • Muscle aches

  • Difficult sleeping

  • Loss of appetite.

  • Runny nose(mucous may become thick yellow or green)

Diagnostic Criteria

  • Cough or nasal discharge or mouth breathing

  • Normal respiratory rate

  • Fever may or may not be present



  • Not required


Treat the child as an outpatient

Pharmacological Treatment

  • Relieve high fever of ≥38.5°C with Paracetamol 15mg/kg.


Do not give any of the following

  • An antibiotic (they are not effective and do not prevent pneumonia)

  • Remedies such as cough syrup for under fives.

  • Medicated nose drops


Non pharmacological treatment

  • Soothe the throat and relieve the cough with a safe remedy, such as tea with lemon, lime or honey.

  • Clear secretions from the child using a cloth soaked in water, which has been twisted to form a pointed wick.

Advise the parent/caretaker to return if the child develops fast or difficult breathing, becomes sicker, is unable to drink or breastfeed.

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Last updated on 24.08.2020


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