The common cold is the most frequent childhood infection and young children get on average 3 - 8 colds per year.
A common cold causes a stuffy blocked up nose with nasal discharge which at first is clear and runny and becomes becomes purulent within a few days.
It is accompanied by a fever and sometimes a cough which is caused by phlegm dripping down the back of the throat causing a secondary bronchial infection.
Most cases of common cold are caused by a virus. There are many different viruses that cause a cold which is why there is no vaccination to prevent colds. Adults build up some immunity to them where it is common for children to have more, which is normal in the first few years.
Antibiotics are not given and do not work for a common cold, only when there is a secondary infection such as tonsillitis, ear infection or chest infection is an antibiotic considered.
Risk factors for repetitive colds in an older child.
- Active and passive smoking of the parents and or with peers.
- Communal lifestyle ie schools and clubs.
- Hereditary allergic background