For older children
Families with school-aged children can expect to experience up to 12 colds a year. With parents working and other siblings to look after, it’s tempting to dose your children up and send them off to school. But that could compromise their recovery – and it could spread the virus to the rest of the class.
There’s also concern that parents are heading for the medicine cabinet too quickly. Evidence shows over-the-counter medications don’t really work, and there is concern that parents are giving children too much or mixing medicines. The Therapeutic Goods Administration says over-the-counter cough and cold preparations are not recommended for children under six, and should only be given to six- to 12-year-olds on the advice of a doctor or pharmacist.
Be wary of overusing antihistamines, cough suppressants, expectorants and decongestants in children.
Use saline to clear stuffy noses; honey is good for sore throats.
Provide plenty of liquids and keep up good nutrition.
Ask your doctor for advice on the best medication to reduce a fever. Don’t use ibuprofen in children under six months and don’t give aspirin to any children.
See a doctor if your child is wheezing or has signs of a bacterial infection of the ears, sinuses, throat or chest.
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