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Upper Respiratory Tract Infection (URTI & Common Cold)

    • What is an upper respiratory tract infection (URTI)?

      URTI or common cold in children

      Upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) refer to infections affecting the upper portion of your child’s airway, including the nose, throat, larynx, sinuses, pharynx, and trachea or windpipe. These commonly includes the common cold.

      URTI can be transmitted through direct contact with droplets from a sneeze or cough, or when a child touches their nose or mouth with hands exposed to the virus or bacteria.

    • What are the causes of the common cold in children?

      Despite its name, the common cold is caused not by the cold weather but by a virus that infects the nose and throat. When a virus attaches to the lining of your nose or throat, it triggers an immune response that leaves you feeling sick. Most colds are caused by the rhinovirus. Other virus that may cause colds are influenza, parainfluenza, and coronavirus.

      The common cold is common in the first few years of a healthy child’s life. It is possible to get up to 12 viral illnesses in the first few years of life as your child builds up their immunity against viruses.

      Preventing the common cold

      Your child may catch the cold virus if they touch an object that someone with a cold has touched in the last few hours, such as toys, door handles, books and pens. Your child is more likely to catch a cold by touching their nose, eyes, or mouth afterwards. If someone with a cold sneezes or coughs around your child, they may also catch it by breathing in the droplets.

      Teach your child and maintain good hygiene practices to reduce the chance of catching colds. These include:

      • discarding tissues immediately after using them and washing hands after
      • not sharing cups or utensils
      • regular handwashing
      • teaching your child to cough and sneeze into their elbow

      Even so, it is hard to completely avoid cold viruses. It is a good option to get your child above the age of 6 months vaccinated with the yearly flu vaccine to build up their immunity against common seasonal viruses.

      Do not send your child back to school or bring them out to crowded places when they are still recovering from a cold as it is easy to catch another virus soon after. Some children appear to be sick for months as they often catch back to back colds due to this reason.

      Most children do not need additional vitamins or supplements to build their immunity. This is a natural process which occurs with each exposure to a virus in the first few years of life. A good balanced diet and adequate sleep will keep your child healthy.

    • What are the symptoms of the common cold in children?

      If your child has a cold, they may display these symptoms for up to a week:

      • Cough
      • Fever
      • Loss of appetite
      • Phlegm
      • Slight body aches or headache
      • Sneezing, runny nose or blocked nose
      • Sore throat
      • Tiredness

      Nasal and cough symptoms can last longer and in some cases up to 4 weeks.

    • How is the common cold in children treated?

      Home treatment of the common cold

      Ensure that your child has adequate rest and fluids. Use symptom medications such as nasal drops and saline sprays to decongest the nose, or oral medications like antihistamines to keep your child comfortable. A baby or child with a clear nose is able to sleep and feed better, and is less irritable. Fever medications may be given if high fevers are causing your child to be uncomfortable or irritable.

      If your child is above the age of 1 year, honey is a natural remedy which can be soothing for a cough. Strong medications which are drowsy and artificially suppress a cough response are not recommended in children below the age of 2 years. No medications will cure the cough or other cold symptoms. The symptoms only resolve as the immune system fights and clears off the infection.

      You should bring your child to a doctor if they display any of the following symptoms:

      • Unresolved cough after 4 weeks
      • Fever for more than 1 week
      • Hard or fast breathing
      • Drowsiness or increased lethargy
      • Poor fluid intake or reduced urine

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  • Our Specialists

    There are 7 SpecialistsView All

    • Cheng Tai Kin

      Specialty:
      Paediatric Medicine
      Sub-specialty:
      Paediatric Medicine - Neonatology

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      Clinic:
      Kinder Clinic Pte Ltd
      Location:
      319 Joo Chiat Place #03-04
      Parkway East Medical Centre
      Singapore 427989
      Contact No:
      6446 7100
    • Goh Han Meng

      Specialty:
      Paediatric Medicine

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      Clinic:
      Kinder Clinic Pte Ltd
      Location:
      319 Joo Chiat Place #03-04
      Parkway East Medical Centre
      Singapore 427989
      Contact No:
      6446 7100
    • I Malathi

      Specialty:
      Paediatric Medicine
      Sub-specialty:
      Paediatric Medicine - Neonatology

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      Clinic:
      Happy Baby & Child Clinic Pte Ltd
      Location:
      319 Joo Chiat Place #03-06
      Parkway East Medical Centre
      Singapore 427989
      Contact No:
      6345 1819
    • Lim Xue Yan

      Specialty:
      Paediatric Medicine

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      Clinic:
      Sog Clinic For Children
      Location:
      319 Joo Chiat Place #02-03
      Parkway East Medical Centre
      Singapore 427989
      Contact No:
      6702 7172
    • Low Eu Hong

      Specialty:
      Paediatric Medicine

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      Clinic:
      E H Low Baby N' Child Clinic Pte Ltd
      Location:
      319 Joo Chiat Place #04-01
      Parkway East Medical Centre
      Singapore 427989
      Contact No:
      6344 0583
    • Mohana D/O Rajakulendran

      Specialty:
      Paediatric Medicine

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      Clinic:
      Parkway East Paediatric Clinic
      Location:
      319 Joo Chiat Place #03-07
      Parkway East Medical Centre
      Singapore 427989
      Contact No:
      62295849
    • S Sivasankaran

      Specialty:
      Paediatric Medicine
      Sub-specialty:
      Paediatric Medicine - Neonatology

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      Clinic:
      Kinder Clinic Pte Ltd
      Location:
      319 Joo Chiat Place #03-04
      Parkway East Medical Centre
      Singapore 427989
      Contact No:
      6446 7100

    There are 7 SpecialistsView All