As your family enters the spring and summer months, you may still find that your child is fighting off a cold from the late winter. While perhaps the worst of it is over, they may still have the sniffles or a persistent cough that keeps them up at night and keeps them generally uncomfortable throughout the day. Consider these five ways to break a stubborn cold and invite good health back into your home.

Keep Them Hydrated

Hydration is vital for clearing up head colds as well as chest congestion. It helps to break up the mucous that clogs the sinuses and respiratory system, improves sinus congestion and makes coughs more productive. It can be difficult to get your child to drink, however, especially if he or she has a sore throat. Consider offering them 100% fruit juice or broth, which may catch their interest more than plain water would.

Ensure They Rest

Make sure your sick child is getting plenty of rest, especially at the beginning of their sickness. Even if they are not actually sleeping during a naptime, resting with a book in bed can give the immune system the chance it needs to recuperate itself. Interestingly, children who are well-rested are three times less likely to get sick in the first place when compared with poorly rested children.

Watch What They Eat

A healthy diet full of vitamins and minerals can stave off a sickness or at least help children recuperate faster. Keep your child away from empty calories, such as white bread, sweet treats and baked goods. Instead, focus on foods made with natural products as well as on fruits and vegetables.

Ease the Symptoms

Most of the time, you can help to ease your child’s cold symptoms at home. Invest in a cool air humidifier, and keep it running in the bedroom as they sleep. Rub vapor rub on the chest to open up sinuses and respiratory passageways, and consider using vapor rub on the feet of a child who has a bad cough. Children who have a fever may be able to take an over-the-counter fever reducer, such as acetaminophen, but check with a doctor first.

Head to the Doctor

Some extreme symptoms may warrant a trip to the doctor or to an urgent care center like Premier Urgent Care Centers. Seek medical assistance if your child’s fever does not break after three days, if they have a persistent cough or difficulty breathing or if they have difficulty swallowing due to enlarged tonsils. In addition, unexplained vomiting with a cold could indicate a more concerning problem.

Most of the time, a stubborn cold can be successfully treated at home with natural remedies and a healthy diet. However, if your child’s persistent cold is troubling you or worsens after it seemed to be getting better, be sure to head to the urgent care center. A doctor will be able to set your mind at ease or recommend another course of action should it be needed.

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