The Common Cold

The Common Cold

Children are particularly prone to colds and flu as it takes time for their immune system to build up resistance to these viruses. Colds and flu can occur all year around, but are especially common during the winter months.


A cold can be very unpleasant for your child, but it usually clears up by itself within a few days, and without medical care. Symptoms for the common cold include:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Runny or blocked nose
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Slight fever


Our best advice is for you to help your child rest up, eat well and keep hydrated. Some over the counter medicines may help if your child has a headache or slight fever. Your local pharmacist should be able to advise you on appropriate medication for your child. At this point, there is very little we can do for your child as the virus simply needs to run its course.


If you have any questions about the best treatment for your child you are welcome to get in touch. Contact us if your child:

  • or you have a chronic medical condition such as asthma, heart disease or diabetes,
  • has a very high temperature, severe headache or abdominal pain,
  • is vomiting but doesn’t have diarrheoa,
  • has a rash in addition to a fever,
  • stops drinking and is unusually sleepy or listless,
  • shows other signs of illness as well as a fever.


Always contact us if your baby’s temperature is 38C (100.4F) or higher if they are under three months, or 39C (102.2F) or higher they are three to six months.

We are here to help you to understand and manage your child’s health. We are happy to discuss any worries or questions you may have. The links below provide evidence-based guidance and care and are particularly useful for helping you to understand your child’s condition and how best to manage it.

Useful Links:

  • NHS Living Well – Coping with Cold & Flu
  • Cardiff University – The Common Cold
  • HSE – Flu vaccine



Content developed from HSE and NHS Choices is adapted for Galway East Medical Practice by Galway East Medical Practice.

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