What is the management of a common cold?

Usually no treatment is needed. Make sure the child drinks enough fluid. Frequent, small feeds are best. Appetite is often poor for a few days. Older children can blow their nose, but saline nose drops help to clear the nose in infants and young children. Keeping the room warm and raising the head with pillows may help at night. Paracetamol syrup will lower fever. Aspirin should not be used in children.

Decongestant nose drops for a few days or an oral decongestant (e.g. Actifed) are only practical to help a blocked nose in older children. Antibiotics are not indicated unless there is a secondary bacterial infection. Suspect a complication if the child develops a high fever, severe cough or breathes fast.

Antibiotics are not indicated for a common cold.

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