What To Do When You Get A Cold
Colds are caused by viruses, not by getting wet or physically cold, but infection is more likely if the body’s resistance is reduced by illness, tiredness, stress or depression.
The following suggestions will help to reduce the miseries of the symptoms:
• Keep the patient’s temperature down by giving paracetamol in the doses recommended on the container. Although the patient may feel cold his temperature may actually be raised.
• Do not wrap up in extra clothes or blankets, and do not heat up the room excessively. Rather, allow the body to lose some of the excess heat being generated. Babies are particularly vulnerable to overheating. They should be kept in a comfortably warm room wearing as little clothing as possible.
• Take extra drinks, especially cool drinks, to replace fluids being lost and to cool the body. Lack of food is not important, but fluid loss makes the patient feel worse, and in babies can be dangerous. Babies should, if possible, be given additional water or diluted fruit juice between their milk feeds in amounts to produce at least three wet nappies every 24 hours.
• A linctus or cough mixture may ease cough symptoms, but if you are taking drugs for another condition, check with your doctor or chemist that it is safe to take both. Some medicines can add to the effect of alcohol and make it dangerous to drive.
• Sponging with tepid water may cool and soothe children. Sponge the face and hands, or give an all-over sponge in the bath.
• Steam inhalation may help. But be careful not to expose children to the danger of scalding if boiling water is used.
• Do not smoke, and avoid tobacco fumes.
• Do not use nose drops. They may appear to give immediate relief but can cause the nose to become more blocked.
• A walk in the fresh air may ease symptoms.
• Extra sleep or rest in bed will help you to recover.