It is true that children do get a lot of colds. Those 6 years and younger average about 6-8 colds per year. Otherwise healthy preschoolers might experience respiratory symptoms almost half the time in the approaching cold season, without medical cause for concern.Although the Nobel Prize awaits the scientist who discovers the "cure for the common cold," help is available to make cold misery less troublesome for both child and parent.Discomfort associated with aching and fever: Use acetaminophen (Tylenol) for kids over 3 months and ibuprofen (Advil) for those 6 months and older only when discomfort is present. Never use aspirin in kids under 18 years because of the risk of Reye's Syndrome.Stuffy nose, sneezing: A humidifier or vaporizer in the bedroom works well. In infants, salt water (saline) nose drops and gentle suction with a bulb syringe are helpful. There is no role for antihistamines, decongestants, cough medicines or expectorants in children. These medications do not help kids and their use has been associated with serious side effects in small children. DO NOT USE!Cough: Give half a teaspoon of honey for kids 2-5 years, 1 teaspoon for kids 6-12 years and 2 teaspoons for kids over 12 years. Do not give honey to kids less than one year because of the risk of botulism.Finally, yellow, green slimy snot is a normal part of a cold and NOT a reason to ask for antibiotics. Snot is good. Snot means your body's defense mechanisms are working.Dr. Mohler has practiced family medicine in Grand Junction for 38 years. He has a particular interest in pharmaceutical education. Phil works part-time for both Primary Care Partners and Rocky Mountain Health Plans.
MOHLER: Johnny has another cold. What's a mom to do?
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