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Q and A: Kids and Colds

Brought to you by Melissa Calhoun, D.O., Family Medicine Physician - The Portland Clinic - MEDICAL INSIDER

THE PORTLAND CLINIC - Melissa Calhoun, D.O., Family Medicine PhysicianQ: WHAT IS THE LATEST ADVICE ABOUT KIDS AND COLDS? –The most valuable recent information is that over-the-counter cough and cold medicines are not recommended for kids. Instead, try 2 teaspoons of honey before bed.

Q: SHOULD I TREAT MY CHILD'S COLD WITH ANTIBIOTICS?—No. Colds are caused by viruses and antibiotics have no effect against viruses.

Q: WHAT CAN I DO TO RELIEVE MY CHILD'S CONGESTION?—Give them warm fluids and plenty of liquids, try saline to clear the nose, and add moisture to the air with a cool-mist humidifier or vaporizer

Q: HOW DO I TREAT A FEVER?—Kids can be given acetaminophen after they're 3 months old, or ibuprofen after 6 months. Fevers in babies younger than 3 months old should be evaluated in an emergency room.

Q: WHAT SHOULD A CHILD EAT AND DRINK DURING A COLD?—I worry less about what they're eating (as long as it's healthy) and more about how much they're drinking. Keeping them hydrated with plenty of fluids is important, especially if they have a sore throat.

Q: SHOULD I KEEP MY CHILD HOME FROM SCHOOL?—If their temperature is over 100.4° F, yes, keep them home for 24 hours.

Q: WHEN SHOULD I TAKE MY CHILD TO THE DOCTOR?—If a fever lasts more than five days, urine output has decreased, they seem sluggish or hard to wake up, they are having trouble breathing, or any time you are worried.

Q: HOW CAN I KEEP MY KIDS FROM CATCHING COLDS?—Teach them to wash their hands well and often, and to keep their hands away from their face.

The Portland Clinic


6640 SW Redwood Ln.

Portland, OR 97224

(503) 223-3113