Demystifying the Common Cold: Management and Prevention

Common colds are quite common viral infections that affect 2 out of 3 adults every year. It is harmless but may make you uncomfortable and unable to concentrate on your daily tasks. There is no cure, however it heals on its own after running its course. You can use OTC medication and home remedies to manage your symptoms until you get better. In case you have severe symptoms of the common cold, then making an early diagnosis is necessary because you may have a different viral or bacterial infection than the cold which requires medical attention. Log on to for a consultation.

Management of Common cold

Keep in mind that some OTCs are not safe for children. So, before giving to your child consult with your healthcare provider.

Besides OTC medications, some home remedies are recommended for fast recovery, including:

  • Gargling with salt water: You can use a salt-water gargle to coat your throat to ease your irritation.
  • Drinking enough water: Staying hydrated can relieve congestion because you replace the fluids you’ve lost.
  • Using VapoRub: You can use VapoRub topical ointments to open your airways and ease congestion.
  • Take plenty of rest: When you take enough rest your body saves energy to fight off the virus from your body.
  • Zinc lozenges: This may help you lower your cold symptoms if you take it when your symptoms begin.

When it comes to treating colds in children, doctors don’t recommend over-the-counter medication. They recommend:

  • Giving your baby enough fluids. For babies 6 months or younger, only give them breast milk or formula. At 6 months, you can give your baby some water.
  • Making your baby comfortable and letting your baby get enough rest.

Most children younger than 4 have difficulty blowing their noses, so you can use these methods to ease their stuffy noses:

  • Use over-the-counter salt water (saline) to lower the mucus in your baby’s nostrils. You can suction out the liquid and mucus a few minutes later by using a rubber bulb or oral suction device. This will clean the mucus out of the baby’s nose and allow them to breathe and suck at the same time.
  • Use petroleum jelly outside of your baby’s nostrils to lower irritation. Avoid using it more because it may make congestion worse.
  • Use a humidifier to moisten the air in your baby’s room because it will clean and cool the mist of air and decrease the drying of your baby’s nasal passages and throat.
  • In case you don’t have a humidifier, then give your child some steam. Use your bathroom and turn on the hot water, close the door, and sit together in the steamy room for around 15 minutes.

Babies can continue their normal activities if they feel well. However, if they have a fever or complications, it’s best to keep them at home.


Several tips can help you prevent the common cold:

  • Wash your hands regularly: You should wash your hands frequently, especially before eating or preparing food, touching your face, eyes, and mouth after touching common usable objects. Additionally, also wash your hands after using the bathroom, wiping your nose, or coming into contact with someone who has a cold.
  • Cleaning frequently used surfaces: Viruses can live on commonly used surfaces like doorknobs, tables, chairs, etc.
  • Use hand sanitizers: If you can’t wash your hands with soap and water, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Strengthening your immune system: Make certain lifestyle changes to boost your immune system including eating a healthy diet, exercising, and getting enough sleep so that your body can fight off germs.
  • Avoid touching your face: When you touch common/shared objects avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth because germs can enter your body through those parts of your body.
  • Take care of your gut: When you eat plenty of healthy bacteria-rich foods like yogurt or take a daily probiotic supplement, it keeps your gut healthy which boosts your immune system to fight off germs.
  • Staying home: If you’re sick, then you should stay at home so that it doesn’t spread to others.
  • Avoid sick people: If someone around you is sick, he or she can easily spread germs in tight quarters like offices or classrooms. That’s why, if possible, try to maintain distance from them until they get better. If you meet them, make sure you wash your hands later on.

If you need help with your common cold symptoms, visit our clinic in Brooklyn to get professional medical help. Our infectious disease doctors make sure your condition gets diagnosed and treated properly. For more information or to make an appointment, call us to get a consultation. Call us on +1-347-384-5690. If you need any information on infections, log on to  get a consultation. We have the best doctors that can help you and improve your quality of life!