Cough, Cold, Runny Nose

The Dark Side of Autumn. While turning leaves and a cool breeze are lovely, Snot is Not.  A common head or chest cold most often includes a runny nose, sore throat, sneezing, and of course coughing. These symptoms can last for up to 2 weeks.

Did you know that while rhinovirus is the most common type of virus, there are actually over 200 viruses that can cause colds?

Preventing the Common Cold

  • Practice good hand hygiene - wash regularly with antibacterial soap, carry hand wipes or hand sanitizer and use them!
  • Avoid contact with people who have colds or other upper respiratory infections
  • If you catch cold - stay home if possible, otherwise always cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing to avoid spreading the infection - and clean your phones, keyboards, mouse, and work areas at school or work whenever you sit down or leave.

Signs and Symptoms of the Common Cold

What are you doing to prepare for Flu, Cold and Cough Season this year? We've talked a lot about Influenza (always a popular subject with our readers) but the common cold is a seasonal dilemma that few dive into deeply enough... it's not just a nuisance, it can lead to loss of work, more dangerous illnesses, and complications from misuse of medications and treatments.

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Cough & Cold Remedies - Our cough and cold tablets are fast acting Sinus and Nasal Decongestant Tablets, Cold Plus no PSE & Tablets comparable to Tylenol Cold and Cough available in capsules and convenient single dose tablet packets.

Ever wonder what the Snot Color Means?
(OK, "Mucus" is a nicer term) At, first, when the germs that cause colds infect the nose and sinuses, the nose makes clear mucus. This is the body's natural protective action and acts to help wash the germs from the nose and sinuses. After 2-3 days, the body's immune cells fight back, changing the mucus to a white or yellow color. As the bacteria that live in the nose grow back, they may also be found in the mucus, which changes the mucus to a greenish color. This is normal and does not mean you or your child needs antibiotics.

How to Feel Better...

Rest, over-the-counter medicines and other self-care methods may help you or your child feel better. Remember, always use over-the-counter products as directed.  Many over-the-counter products are not recommended for children younger than certain ages.

Cough and cold medications that contain nasal decongestants, antihistamines, cough suppressants, and expectorants commonly are used alone or in combination in attempts to temporarily relieve symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection in children aged <2 years.

According to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System--Cooperative Adverse Drug Events Surveillance project, which is jointly operated by CDC, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission: During 2004--2005 alone, an estimated 1,519 children aged <2 years were treated in U.S. emergency departments for adverse events, including overdoses, associated with cough and cold medications.

Tips for Safety at Home with Over-the-Counter Cold Remedies:

Do

  • Throw away old cold and cough medicines labeled for children less than age 4.
  • Read the label carefully to see what ingredients are in any medicine you give your child.

Don't

  • Don't leave any medicines where your child might be able to reach them.
  • Don't tell children that medicine is candy.
  • Don't take adult medicines in front of your child.
  • Don't give children younger than age 4 any medicines intended for older children.
  • Don't give your child two medicines that contain the same ingredients.

For tips on safely managing coughs and colds, talk to your child's doctor or your pharmacist.

Antibiotics are Needed When…

Antibiotics are needed only if your healthcare provider tells you that you or your child has a bacterial infection. Your healthcare provider may prescribe other medicine or give tips to help with a cold's symptoms, but antibiotics are not needed to treat a cold or runny nose.

Antibiotics Will Not Help if…

Since the common cold is caused by a virus, antibiotics will not help it get better.  A runny nose or cold almost always gets better on its own, so it is better to wait and take antibiotics only when they are needed. Taking antibiotics when they are not needed can be harmful, and may lead to unwanted side effects like diarrhea, rashes, nausea, and stomach pain. More severe side effects may rarely occur, including life-threatening allergic reactions, kidney toxicity, and severe skin reactions.

Each time you or your child takes an antibiotic, the bacteria that normally live in your body (on the skin, in the intestine, in the mouth and nose, etc.) are more likely to become resistant to antibiotics. Common antibiotics cannot kill infections caused by these resistant germs.

See a Healthcare Provider if You or Your Child has:

  • Temperature higher than 100.4° F
  • Symptoms that last more than 10 days
  • Symptoms that are not relieved by over-the-counter medicines

Your healthcare provider can determine if you or your child has a cold and can recommend symptomatic therapy. If your child is younger than three months of age and has a fever, it’s important to always call your healthcare provider right away.

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Follow the steps above to:

  1. Avoid the Common Cold
  2. Contain your Illness to avoid infecting others if you fall sick
  3. Treat the symptoms to recover
  4. Be responsible and careful with children, medications, and illness
  5. Know when self-treatment is not enough and it's time to sesk professional help
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