What’s the difference between a cold and the flu?
People often think of a cold and the flu as the same thing, but in fact there are important differences when it comes to their cause and their treatment.
We’ve created a quick guide, which you should find useful for telling them apart.
What can I do about my baby’s cold?
Because there’s no cure for the common cold, the best thing for you to do is focus your treatment efforts on easing your little one’s cold symptoms.
- Make sure your child gets plenty of restful sleep.
- Keep them cool –undress them to their underwear. You can cover them with a cool, light sheet though.
- When they have a cold, your child might lose their appetite – this should only last a couple of days. If this happens, just let them eat when they are hungry.
- Make sure they have plenty to drink. If they have started eating solid food, offer lots of cool drinks, especially water.
What if my child has a fever, or aches and pains?
CALPOL® Infant Suspension uses paracetamol to help relieve these symptoms. It’s suitable for babies over 2 months, weighing over 4kg and not premature.
For children 6 years and older, you can use CALPOL® SIXPLUS™ Suspension instead.
Or you could choose CALPROFEN® Ibuprofen Suspension for children over 3 months and weighing over 5kg. It starts work on a fever in just 15 minutes and lasts up to 8 hours.
For more help looking after your little one when they have a fever, we’ve asked child health expert Dr. Carol Cooper for her top tips. Watch our short video to find out more.
You can use the handy Fever Diary we’ve created to help keep track of when you’ve given your little one medicine, and when they need their next dose.
What can I do about a blocked nose?
A blocked nose is another common symptom of a cold or the flu. It’s nothing to worry about, but it can be incredibly frustrating for your little one, especially if it’s making it hard for them to feed.
One simple thing you can do to help is to prop up the head of their bed by placing a couple of books under the mattress, which should make it easier for them to breathe at night.
Moisture and warmth can help with a blocked nose too, so you could try taking them into the bathroom while you run a hot shower or bath.
You could also try CALPOL® Soothe & Care Vapour Plug & Nightlight. This plugs into a socket in your little one’s room to release soothing lavender and camomile vapours for clear and easy breathing. It even includes a gentle nightlight.
And CALPOL® Soothe & Care Saline Nasal Spray and Saline Drops are simple, natural treatments that help wash away mucus that can build up, helping your child breathe more easily16.
It can be tricky treating your child with a nasal spray, especially when they’re small and wriggly! So we’ve written a short guide to help you get it right.
- Paracetamol or ibuprofen?Need help choosing which kind of medicine is most appropriate for your little one’s age, weight, symptoms and other factors?What’s the difference?
- Aches & painsEvery child suffers aches and pains as they’re growing up. Find out what might be causing them and what you can do to help.More about aches & pains
CALPROFEN® Ibuprofen Suspension
From 3 months, weighing over 5kg.
Ibuprofen-only medicine for pain and fever relief.Full product details
Contact the NHS
For health advice and reassurance, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
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