Colds and flu
You can let your child continue his normal activities and playing if he feels well enough.
Photo: Carol-Anne Pedneault
Colds and flu are caused by viruses.
Children under 2 can catch up to 10 or so colds per year. If they do catch the flu, it generally will be only once a year.
A child’s cold symptoms include a stuffy or runny nose, sneezing, coughing, mild sore throat, loss of appetite, and mild fever. Usually these symptoms will last one to two weeks.
Cold and flu symptoms can be similar, but flu is a much more serious illness. There is a flu vaccine available that your child can be given.
If you think he might have COVID-19, contact Info-Santé (8-1-1).
What to do?
There is no cure for the common cold or the flu. They will go away by themselves.
You can let your child continue his normal activities and playing if he feels well enough. Make sure he drinks enough.
If necessary, gently clean out his stuffed-up or runny nose (see Stuffed-up or runny nose).
If your child has a fever, see What to do if your child has a fever.
Health Canada advises against giving cough and cold medications (syrups, suppositories, etc.) to children under the age of 6. They are not effective and can be dangerous for young children.
There are many over-the-counter cough and cold medications on the market. These medications should not be given to children under 6. They are not effective and can be dangerous for them.
Using a humidifier is no longer recommended. If the humidity is too high or the humidifier poorly maintained, harmful molds can develop.