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Spotlight On Health

Colds and Kids

As the autumn weather grows cooler and cooler, cold season is right around the corner. The ‘common cold’ is caused by viruses (germs) that infect the nose, throat and sinuses. Colds are most common in the fall and winter when people are indoors and in close contact with each other. It may seem like your child has one cold after another all winter. Young children haven’t built up immunity (defenses) to the more than 100 different cold viruses that are around. That’s why they can get as many as 8 to 10 colds each year before they turn 2 years old.

Once you have had a cold virus, you become immune to that specific germ. That’s why children get fewer colds as they get older.

How do colds spread?

Children can catch colds from siblings, parents, other family members, playmates or caregivers. Germs usually spread in one of three ways:

Direct contact—such as kissing, touching or holding hands—with an infected person. If you have a virus, you will have germs in your nose, mouth, eyes and on your hands. By touching other people, you can pass on the virus.

Indirect contact means touching something—a toy, doorknob or a used tissue—that has been touched by an infected person and now has germs on it. Some germs, including those that cause colds and diarrhea, can stay on surfaces for many hours. Some germs spread through the air when a person coughs or sneezes.Droplets from the cough or sneeze can reach another person’s nose or mouth.

Read on and learn more about Colds and Kids in today's Spotlight on Health!

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