How to Ease Symptoms of Colds, Flu and Cough


The common cold is the most frequently encountered illness in infants and children. Your caregivers in Jacksonville at 24/7 Pediatric Care Centers are all too familiar with the symptoms of these common illnesses and are well prepared to answer your questions or advise you on the best ways to make your children more comfortable.

First, some basics: Colds and flu are caused by viruses, and so they aren’t responsive to antibiotics. They may occur at any time of year; cold weather is not a cause for colds and flu. Children catch these illnesses through direct exposure to a sick person (touching or from cough droplets in the air), or from viruses present on countertops or toys.

Home Treatment

  • Do not give your child under 6 years old antihistamines, decongestants, cough medicines, and expectorants without your doctor’s orders. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), they have not been clinically proven to relieve symptoms and in some cases may be dangerous for your child.
  • You may give acetaminophen (common brand name: Tylenol) to treat a child older than 3 months with fever. You can give ibuprofen (common brand names: Advil, Motrin) to children older than 6 months. Do not give aspirin to any child under age 18.
  • Relieve stuffy noses in older children using a saline nose spray. In infants, use saline drops and suction the nose with a bulb syringe.
  • Make sure to encourage your child to drink sufficient fluids. Contact 24/7 Pediatric Care Centers if your child refuses to eat or drink for one or more days.
  • Use a humidifier in the child’s room to keep the air moist.
  • Give your child older than 12 months a spoonful of honey to ease night-time coughs. Do not give honey to children younger than 12 months.


While complications from colds and flu are unusual, you should contact 24/7Pediatric Care Centers if your child experiences: excess drowsiness; difficulty breathing; fever greater than 101 degrees F; eyes become red or have a yellowish discharge; pulling ears or appearance of  ear pain accompanied by unusual fussiness.

Many parents feel anxiety about children having a fever and accurately measuring their temperature. Do not hesitate to contact us at 24/7 Pediatric Care Centers if you have any concerns about your child experiencing a cold or fever.

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24/7 Pediatric Care Centers are Jacksonville pediatricians, Jacksonville Beach pediatricians, and Fleming Island pediatricians providing care for children from newborn to 18 years. Our 24-hour office also provides services for non-life-threatening illnesses to registered patients 24 hours a day.

24/7 Pediatric Care Centers is not a substitute for Emergency or Trauma-related medical care.
If you feel your child is experiencing a life-threatening event, immediately call 911.