Order a printed copy of this manual:
Guide for the Care of Children: Ages Birth to 5
by Allina Patient Education
Manage your child's health with MyChart.
Family medicine ?
Cardiovascular disease - pediatric ?
Child psychiatry ?
Child psychology ?
If your child has a sore throat, cold or the flu, a virus is the cause. This is a germ that spreads easily. The virus must run its course. For a cold, this is seven to 14 days.
If your child breathes in or comes in contact with germs (bacteria and viruses), she may get an infection.
If your child is old enough, teach her how to wash her hands. Proper handwashing is the best way to avoid infections.
Over-the-counter medicines can help relieve the symptoms. Your health care provider won't give your child antibiotics because they only work against bacteria.
(Antibiotics that are prescribed too often will create germs that are resistant. This means that the germs are stronger than the medicine.)
The best way to protect your child from a viral infection is to wash her hands and your hands well after sneezing or coughing and before eating.
Be sure to cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough. Tell others who have contact with your child to practice these precautions.
First published: 02/01/2010
Last updated: 02/01/2010
Reviewed by: Allina Patient Education experts, including the Pediatric Department of Allina Medical Clinic - Coon Rapids