Colds, flu and sore throats

Colds, coughs and sore throats are common in children and are usually caused by bacteria or viruses. They tend to occur more frequently in the winter months.

Sore throats:

A sore throat is often described as pain or discomfort in the throat and may be a symptom of bacterial or viral infection.

Signs your child is suffering from a sore throat may include:

  • Crying during feeding
  • Refusing to eat or drink
  • Throat may appear bright red

To help your child feel better

  • Pain relief is important26 as reducing pain can encourage your child to eat and drink. Paracetamol such as Dymadon can be used to relieve pain caused by a sore throat.
  • Ensure your child is well hydrated, so give them plenty of water. Your child might also find warm or iced drinks or plain ice-blocks soothing.
  • If your child is on solids, avoid foods that irritate or cause pain when swallowing. Try giving your child soft foods such as soup, jelly, yoghurt, soft or cooked fruit or ice-cream.
  • Make sure that they get enough sleep the body recovers best when it’s well rested.
  • Keep your child away from cigarette smoke.
  • And a lovely cuddle from mum, dad, gran or grandpa never goes astray.

Usually a sore throat will resolve within 3 weeks without needing medication. Antibiotics don’t always help unless the infection is caused by bacteria.

If your child is very unwell, is not drinking a lot of fluids for longer than 24 hours or has difficulty swallowing, contact your healthcare professional.

Colds and Flu

People often get a cold and the flu confused, as they both result from viruses and some of the symptoms can be similar. BUT, there are important differences.

The common cold

Catching a cold is very common and children can get 5-10 colds a year especially while their immune systems are still developing.

The common cold usually affects the nose, throat and upper airways. Common symptoms include:

  • Coughing
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Sneezing
  • Having a blocked or runny nose

Generally your child will recover from their cold within 7-10 days without the need for medical treatment.

The flu or influenza

Influenza, commonly known as ‘the flu’, is a viral infection caused by the influenza virus.

Influenza mainly affects the nose, throat and lungs, but it can involve other parts of the body as well. In children, the flu often starts with a fever and at least two of these symptoms;

  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Headache
  • Tiredness and low energy
  • Cough
  • Sore throat and runny nose
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea

To help your child feel better

  • Use paracetamol such as Dymadon if your child is in pain or has discomfort associated with fever. Always read the label to ensure you give your child the right dose.
  • Make sure they get enough sleep the body recovers best when it’s well rested
  • Ensure your child is well hydrated – give them plenty of water.
  • Keep your child away from cigarette smoke
  • And a lovely cuddle from mum, dad, gran or grandpa never goes astray.

Good hygiene can help prevent the spread of colds and flu. Make sure you wash your hands regularly, cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing and try not to share any utensils.

Be aware of warning signs of severe illness which can include poor feeding, dehydration or difficulty breathing. If your child has any of these signs, see a doctor straight away.

If you have any concerns about your child’s health, you should contact your healthcare professional.

Ask for Dymadon paracetamol by name at your pharmacy.

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