How To Manage Your Toddler's Cold Symptoms At Home

Toddlers come down with colds from time to time, and usually you don't need to take them to the doctor for the sniffles or some sneezing. However, you will want to do some things at home to help keep your sick toddler more comfortable.

Put them in the bathroom with the shower running.

Dry air can make cold symptoms seem a lot worse to your little one. It also makes it hard to cough up mucus. Turn the shower on, and let your child sit in the bathroom with it running for about 20 minutes or so. The steam will loosen mucus so that they have an easier time breathing, and it will also soothe sore nasal passages and airways so they don't cough and sneeze so much.

Give them some electrolyte beverages to drink.

Sipping a beverage will keep your toddler's throat moist. Plus, all of that mucus production depletes the body of liquid and electrolytes. Drinking an electrolyte beverage like Gatorade or Pedialyte will keep your child hydrated so their body is better able to fight off the cold virus. Proper hydration will also keep mucus more runny so your child will have an easier time coughing it up or blowing it out of their nose.

Encourage them to blow their nose.

A lot of toddlers will habitually sniffle their mucus back in rather than blowing their noses. This can keep the sinuses stuffed up and will also cause mucus to run down the back of their throat. Encourage your child to blow their nose a few times an hour, and they'll feel a lot better. Use tissues with lotion in them so their nose does not get so sore.

Feed them soft, tasty foods.

Toddlers often don't feel like eating when they are sick, but eating will give their body the nutrients it needs to recover. Offer soft and tasty foods like soup, mashed potatoes, and pudding to make things easier on your child. Encourage them to eat little bits at a time, even if they won't eat a large meal.

Note that if your toddler does show any of these symptoms, he or she may have something more serious than the common cold (such as the flu or croup). You should call your family doctor or head to the urgent care center.

  • A fever of 103 degrees F or higher (lower fevers can be managed at home)
  • Wheezing while breathing
  • Coughing that has a piercing, sharp sound to it
  • Coughing up blood
  • Lethargy

For more information, contact a family physician at a medical clinic such as Advance Medical of Naples.