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Course of a Common Cold for a Child (Video)

In this video, Dr. Hartman discusses the typical course of the common cold for a child from 6 months to 5 years of age. Key points include:

1) symptoms of a typical upper respiratory infection (“common cold”) last from 2-3 weeks (although may last as long as 4 weeks).

2) young children average 8-10 colds in their first few years of life. Often, these are back-to-back leading to the appearance of prolonged symptoms when in actuality it is merely normal consecutive illnesses.

3) the overall demeanor and appearance of the child is more important than the duration of symptoms.

4) the color of the nasal discharge does not differentiate viral from bacterial illness.

5) no good treatment exists for the common cold beyond general supportive care (humidifier, nasal saline, bulb suction of the nose, etc. . . )

6) antibiotics are not effective for common colds and, generally, do more harm then good.