Dr Mark Rosenthal

MD MB ChB FRCP FRCPCH BSc

Consultant in Paediatric Respiratory Medicine

also specialist in Food Allergies & Disorders of Sleep

A | A | A

T: 0207 351 8832

E: s.harvey@rbht.nhs.uk

A:The Royal Brompton Hospital, London, SW3 6NP

Tips for Treating Summer Colds and Infections in Children

Viral infections in children can happen at any time of year, although they are more common in the winter months. If your child does fall ill with a summer cold, flu or another infection then you will usually be able to manage the symptoms at home, just as you do in summer. Keep your child comfortable and provide infant painkillers if necessary. If the symptoms are severe or viral infections in children last for a long time, see your doctor. When the weather is warm, there are a few more things you can do to ensure your child stays as comfortable as possible while they are recovering from their illness.

Infections in Children

Hydration

Drinking plenty of fluids is always important when you are ill, but especially during the warmer summer months. Your child will probably need to drink a bit more at this time of year than they would usually in order to cope with the higher temperatures. Water, squash or fruit juice can all help keep them hydrated, but ice lollies can be a particularly good choice at this time of year. As well as giving your child some water, a lolly can also be cooling and very soothing for a sore throat.

Keeping Cool

Winter colds usually require you to wrap up your child to keep them warm, but in summer it can be more important to keep them cool, especially when they have a fever. However, it can still be important for them to rest in bed. Make sure that they have lighter bedclothes and nightwear so that they don’t overheat. Keep doors and windows open to create a breeze through the house or set up an electric fan in their room. Cooling a flannel in the fridge and laying it on their forehead can also be very refreshing.

Combating Dryness

A stuffy nose can be even more uncomfortable in dry summer air. Placing a humidifier in your child’s room can help, but if you don’t have one available then you can try saline drops instead. They will help to ease the swelling and dryness that viral infections in children can cause inside the nose.