Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

First Aid & Emergencies

Font Size

Treating Colds in Children

Call 911 if: 

  • Your child has difficulty breathing.

  • Your child has difficulty breathing.

There's no way to cure your child's cold, but you can help relieve the symptoms that make your baby or toddler uncomfortable.

Call Doctor If:

  • Your child has a cold and is 3 months or younger.
  • Your child has a severe cough.
  • Your child has ear pain.
  • Symptoms don't get better after 10 to 14 days.

1. Clear Out Mucus

  • Use an infant nasal bulb, or aspirator, to suck mucus from your baby's nose.
  • If your child is able, have her blow her nose regularly.

2. Add Moisture

  • Use a saline spray to moisten the nasal passages.
  • Use a cool-mist humidifier if the air is dry.
  • Sit in the bathroom with the hot shower running and have your child breathe in the steam.

3. Give Fluids

  • If your child is over 3 months, offer apple juice or water. Hydration helps to loosen mucus.
  • Older children can have warm soups and other drinks.

4. Treat Fever and Pain

  • You don't need to treat a fever unless it is making your child uncomfortable.
  • If your child is older than 6 months, you can give children's-formula acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) for fever. Don't give aspirin to children younger than 16 years old.
  • Follow the dosing instructions on the medication. Use a formula that's made for children, not adults.
  • Never use a cold or cough medicine in kids under age 6 unless the doctor suggests it.

5. Treat Other Symptoms

  • If your child is over age 1, try 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of honey for cough.
  • Raising the head of your child's bed may help relieve congestion.
  • Rub petroleum jelly under the nose to prevent chapping.
  • Avoid irritants, such as cigarette smoke.
  • Be patient. Colds usually last one to two weeks and clear on their own.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Roy Benaroch, MD on September 11, 2015

First Aid A-Z

  • There are no topics that begin with 'O'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'Q'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'U'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'X'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'Y'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'Z'

Today on WebMD

Antibiotic on hand
3d scan of fractured skull
Father putting ointment on boy's face
Person taking food from oven
sniffling child
wound care true or false
caring for wounds
Harvest mite

Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

It's nothing to sneeze at.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

WebMD the app

Get first aid information. Whenever. Wherever... with your iPhone, iPad or Android.

Find Out More