Support and Advice from TNPC's Parenting Experts

The cold is a viral infection of the nose and throat. It usually passes in three or four day unless your child develops a complication. Call your child’s doctor if any of the following happens.

• First, the eyelids develop a yellow drainage or are stuck together after a nap. This means your child needs some antibiotic eyedrops.

• Second, your child acts like he’s having an earache or is unusually cranky. An earache infection is the most common complication of a cold.

• Third, your child develops a yellow discharge from the nose that lasts for more than 24 hours, or the openings of the nose become raw and scabbed over. This means he probably has a sinus infection.

• Fourth, your child develops difficulty breathing that’s not better after you clean out the nose. This means that he could be getting pneumonia.

• Fifth, the fever lasts for more than three days. this increases the chances that your child has developed a bacterial complication somewhere.

In summary, I didn’t mean to overly alarm you. Only 5% develop any of these complications. Knowing that your child doesn’t have any of these symptoms will help you sleep better.

During Dr. Schmitt’s 20 years as a medical practitioner and researcher, he has published over 100 articles or chapters on pediatric health care, and has been awarded the distinguished C. Anderson Aldrich Award by the American Academy of Pediatrics for outstanding contributions to the field of child development. Schmitt has also authored five books including Your Child’s Health, which won Child Magazine’s first Hall of Fame Award in 1991. Schmitt is also a professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and on staff at The Children’s Hospital in Denver, Colorado.


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