Your Child’s Health

Tips for colds, flu and sore throats

Sore throats

Sore throat is described as pain or discomfort in the throat and can be caused by viruses and less commonly bacteria.

Signs of a sore throat may include:

  • Crying, or complaining when swallowing
  • Refusing food
  • Drooling
  • Swollen glands in the neck

To help your child feel better

  • Make sure your child is getting plenty of restful sleep – this will really help give them the strength they need to recover.
  • Make sure he or she has plenty to drink. If your child has started eating solid food, offer plenty of cool drinks, especially water.
  • Pamol® may help to relieve pain and discomfort associated with sore throats (see our handy Little Helper tool to check the correct dosage). Always read the label and use as directed. Incorrect use can be harmful. If symptoms persist see your healthcare professional.

Sometimes children can get ‘strep throat’. A rare complication of strep throat is rheumatic fever. Maori and Pacific children are more at risk of rheumatic fever, and should see a doctor in the first 1 to 2 days of any sore throat. In communities where rheumatic fever is uncommon, seek medical attention if the symptoms are not improving after 2 days or your child develops other symptoms that concern you.

Colds or ‘Flu’

People often think of a cold and the flu as the same thing, but in fact, there are important differences when it comes to their cause and their treatment. Although both illnesses are caused by viruses and share many symptoms, they are actually quite different.

Cold Flu
  • Runny or blocked nose
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Sore throat

You’ll usually notice that symptoms develop over a couple of days and last for a few days. In some cases, colds can last for as long as 10 to 14 days.

  • Fever that comes on rapidly
  • Aches & pains in muscles
  • Headache
  • Tiredness
  • Chills or sweating
  • Dry cough

The flu can affect your child quite quickly, and it can make them feel really unwell for a few days. The worst symptoms usually last about 5 days, but coughing can last up to 2-3 weeks.

To help your child feel better:

  • Make sure they have plenty to drink. If they have started eating solid food, offer plenty of cool drinks, especially water.
  • Don’t overheat your house. Even if they feel shivery, your child will be more comfortable in a well-aired room at a normal temperature.
  • If your child has a runny nose or is coughing at night, try raising the head of the bed slightly (to help keep the throat clear of mucus).
  • If your child has a fever, dress them in light clothes and use only light bedding.
  • Pamol® may help to relieve pain and reduce the fever (see our handy Little Helper tool to check the correct dosage).