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Common Infections and Children

Aug 17, 2007
Children are venerable to all kinds of infections since they enjoy sharing and being close to others. Infections such as the common cold can be annoying problem and often hard to overcome once they have a cold.

A cold is a contagious viral infection of the upper respiratory tract and is also the most common infectious disease in the US. On average children catch up to eight colds per year and this is the number one children miss days of school and visit the doctor.

The majority of infections are caught in the same way that a cold is, your child breathes in or touches an object that has the viruses on it. The rhinovirus is the leading cause of colds and over 100 of these can attack the lining of your child's nose and throat. When this occurs, it triggers a reaction to their immune system, which can cause your child's throat to hurt, have a headache and make it hard for them to breathe through their nose.

There are many old wives tales that tell you that you can catch a cold or an infection when your child play outdoors on cold days without wearing a coat, sitting in a draft, or even going outside with wet hair. None of these are true. When the air they breathe is dry or there are other irritants in the air such as allergens, it lowers your child's resistance to infection thus catching a cold. Allergens can be things such as cigarette smoke, ragweed, and even pets.

There is no real way in which you can stop from catching a cold or airborne virus, mainly because there is no vaccine for the common cold. However, there are a few preventive measures you and your child can do to help prevent them.

The first way of course is the hardest thing for your child to do and that is to stay away from others that have a cold. The particles of a virus can travel through the air up to 12 feet and anything a person touches that has a cold also has the virus on it. Therefore, this one is probably the hardest one to use for prevention of infections.

Other ways to avoid infections include washing your hands, cover their nose and mouth when they cough or sneeze, do not use the same towel to dry their hands as someone with a cold, and do not eat or drink after anyone with a cold.
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