COMMON COLDS AND FLU IN CHILDREN
SYMPTOMS OF COLDS AND FLU
Common cold symptoms:
- Stuffy or Runny Nose
- Sore Throat
Influenza symptoms: Onset of common cold symptoms in addition with muscle or body aches, headaches and fever.
WHO IS AT RISK?
Everyone is susceptible to colds and flu. Children and the elderly are more likely to and more often to catch a cold or flu. People with conditions such as diabetes, emphysema, and other chronic diseases, and those who take immune supressing drugs are more vulnerable as well.
HOW IT DEVELOPS?
The nose, mouth and ears are more receptive to germs as they are entry points and these areas are where we often see infections begin. Specifically, the throat, is a gateway for both the digestive and respiratory systems, it is easily exposed to allergens, bacteria and irritants which is why we typically see a common cold begin with a sore throat and coughing and sneezing.
A person or child in good health should recover from the common cold within 7-10 days. However, for those with pre-existing illnesses, they may be susceptible to complications.
For people with asthma, emphysema and other chronic disorders a common cold can lead to complications such as asthma attacks, sinusitis, ear infections and other secondary infections like bronchitis and pneumonia.
With influenza, the symptoms are the same as common cold symptoms, except they come on faster and are more severe. They are also accompanied by fatigue, muscle aches and fever. Most people require more time and treatment to recover from a flu; this usually includes lots of rest and proper medication. The flu can become quite a serious illness, especially in the young and elderly or persons of weakened immunity and can lead to hospitalization. Every now and then a killer flu can develop and lead to a global epidemic.
THE NATUROPATHIC APROACH TO TREATING COLDS AND FLUS NATURALLY
Conventional OTC medications will help lower fever and there are dozens of different over the counter cold remedies at your local pharmacy. Keep in mind, these remedies only help to lessen and suppress the symptoms while your body fights off the virus and the bacteria.
Naturopathic Medicine addresses not only the virus and bacteria that cause the colds and flus, but also works to boost your immunity.
Our naturopathic doctor may suggest various natural treatments to help your body fight off invasive bacterium or viruses such as:
- Avoiding sugary and refined foods as they can worsen and prolong cold symptoms
- Inhalations and aromatherapy to clear the nasal passage way and improve congestion
- Homeopathic or herbal remedies for cold-related sore throats and other cold symptoms
- Lozenges, organic teas and a healthy diet including specific types of food with healing/cleansing properties such as fresh garlic for congestion
- Herbal medicine, for example Echinacea, and other medication may also be suggested based on the initial naturopathic assessment
PREVENTION IS KEY
- Frequent hand washing, especially when out in crowded areas such as school, work, malls and public transportation. During the winter months take caution when going to crowded events and bundle up.
- During the colder months people and children often have lower immunity due to the lack of Vitamin D and physical activity so keep in mind that eating a well-balanced diet and getting activity can help improve immunity and as a result prevent susceptibility to bacteria.
- If your child or your family member is getting sick often, have a susceptible immune system and are getting colds and flus or upper respiratory tract infections often, it is time to give naturopathic medicine a try! We can help to boost their immune system naturally, optimize their respiratory health, decrease their susceptibility to bacterial and viral infections and improve their wellbeing and health.
Please talk to your naturopathic doctor or health care provider before starting on any therapies or suggestions. If you are interested in scheduling a naturopathic consult for your child, please email us at [email protected] or call us at 416 913 4325 (HEAL)
* DISCLAIMER: The information on this article is the property of Dr. Sushma Shah, Naturopathic Doctor, and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure any diseases or promote any services or products mentioned on the website.