Colds usually clear up without causing any further problems. However, the infection can sometimes spread to your chest, ears or sinuses.
Sinusitis is an infection of the small air-filled cavities inside the cheekbones and forehead. It develops in up to 1 in every 50 adults and older children who have a cold.
Symptoms of sinusitis include:
In most cases, the symptoms of sinusitis will resolve without the need for treatment. See your GP if your symptoms don't improve after a week or they're getting worse.
A middle ear infection (otitis media) develops in an estimate done in every five children under the age of five with a cold.
Symptoms of a middle ear infection include:
Most middle ear infections will resolve without treatment within a few days. Treatment is usually only required if your child has repeated middle ear infections.
Symptoms of a chest infection include a persistent cough, bringing up phlegm (mucus), and shortness of breath.
Minor chest infections will resolve in a few weeks without specific treatment, but you should see your GP if:
In these cases, you could have a bacterial infection that needs tobe treated with antibiotics.
You should seek medical advice if: your child is under three months old and has a temperature of 38C (100.4F) or above, their symptoms last more than three weeks, they seem to be getting worse rather than better, etc.
Antibiotics are used to treat infections caused by bacteria. Colds are caused by viruses, so do not respond to antibiotics. The overuse of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance, where bacterial infections become less easily treatable.
The following tips may help your child cope with the symptoms of a cold: encourage your child to rest and make sure they drink plenty of fluids, liquid paracetamol or ibuprofen can help ease a fever, a warm, moist atmosphere can ease breathing, etc.
A cold is a mild viral infection of the nose, throat, sinuses and upper airways. It's very common and usually clears up on its own within a week or two. Colds are also more frequent during the winter, although it's not clear exactly why.
The symptoms of a cold include a strep throat, a blocked or runny nose, sneezing, etc. They usually develop within a few days of becoming infected. The symptoms are usually at their worst during the first two to three days, before they gradually start to improve.
You can manage cold symptoms yourself by following some simple advice . You'll normally start to feel better within 7 to 10 days. The main medications used to treat cold symptoms are painkillers, decongestants and cold medicines.
Colds usually clear up without causing any further problems. However, the infection can sometimes spread to your chest, ears or sinuses. Like sinusitis, middle ear infection and chest infection.
Young children get colds quite often because their immune system is still developing. It can be worrying when your child gets a cold, but it's not usually serious and normally passes within two weeks.