Germ Patrol: Remedies for 8 Common Winter Illnesses

Kids 3 and under are especially vulnerable to ear infections, stomach bugs, and colds, but they also come down with other infections you've probably never heard of. Here, learn about the most common childhood maladies and the best treatments for them so you don't freak out when your child comes down with something this season.

Common Cold

Chances your child will catch it: 99 percent. Young kids typically get three to 10 colds every year.

Symptoms: A runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, cough, sore throat, headache, and mild fever.

Contagious? Yes, for about five days.

Rx: Make sure your child gets plenty of fluids and rest. Use a cool-mist humidifier. Give her infants' or children's ibuprofen or acetaminophen to reduce the fever and achiness and saline nose drops if she's congested. Avoid cold medication if your child is under 6.

You need to know: Cold germs can live on toys, door handles, and other surfaces for up to two days. There are more than 200 cold-causing viruses, so chances are your child will catch a different bug each time. But she's more likely to stay healthy if you teach her to avoid touching her eyes and nose and to wash her hands frequently (and thoroughly). Reduce your child's exposure to germs by wiping down grocery carts, restaurant tabletops, and high chairs before using them.

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