Friday, June 14, 2024
HomeHealthHow to Look After a Toddler with a Cold

How to Look After a Toddler with a Cold

Colds are very common in toddlers and young children. Their immune systems are still developing, so they can catch viruses easily. While colds in toddlers are usually mild, they can make your little one feel quite miserable. As a parent or foster carer, you’ll want to help your toddler feel as comfortable as possible while their body fights off the infection. Here are some tips on looking after a toddler with a cold.

Let Them Rest

When a toddler has a cold, their body needs rest to help fight off the infection. Try to keep your toddler home from nursery or playgroups so they can recover. If they seem tired, let them nap more than usual. Make sure they get early nights too, as they will likely be suffering from disrupted sleep until the symptoms start to clear up.

Help Clear Congestion

Stuffy noses and congestion can be uncomfortable for toddlers. Try using saline drops or spray in their nose to loosen mucus. You can also use a rubber suction bulb to gently remove mucus. Run a cool mist vaporiser near your toddler at night to help thin out congestion. Keeping hydrated will also help loosen phlegm.

Manage Their Fever

It’s common for colds to come with a low-grade fever in toddlers. Keep them lightly dressed and use children’s paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower their temperature. Lukewarm baths may provide some relief too. Offer plenty of fluids and monitor their temperature. Call your doctor if their fever is over 38°C for more than a few days.

Comfort Coughs

Coughing helps clear mucus but can disrupt your toddler’s sleep. Try elevating their head and upper body with extra pillows to make breathing easier. You can try child-safe cough remedies containing honey or glycerin to coat their throat. A humidifier in their room may soothe coughs. If the coughing continues for over a week, see your GP.

Watch for Loss of Appetite

The stuffy nose, sore throat, and fatigue from a cold can reduce your toddler’s appetite. Don’t force them to eat, but offer small amounts of their favourite foods. Give plenty of fluids so they stay hydrated. Cool smoothies or ice lollies can help. If they won’t eat at all, speak to your doctor.

Help Them Feel Comfortable

Apart from rest and congestion relief, do what you can to console your toddler through their cold. Comfort them when they are cranky. Watch their favourite films together and read stories. Lots of cuddles help too! Be patient as colds can make toddlers extra clingy and tearful. Showing you care will reassure them. If you are fostering in Wales, some quiet time watching movies and reading books will be a good bonding experience for you and your toddler.

With some extra love and care, your toddler should recover from a cold within a week or so. Speak to your doctor if symptoms last longer or suddenly worsen. Getting through the runny noses, coughs and fevers of toddlerhood is tough but rewarding.

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