How To Distinguish Between Cold And COVID Symptoms In Kids?

How To Distinguish Between Cold And COVID Symptoms In Kids?

9 Sep 2022 | 3 min Read

Sayani Basu

Author | 625 Articles

Cold and COVID-19 in kids have similar symptoms. Parents find it difficult to differentiate between the two. Both of these developments as a result of a respiratory virus and spread from person to person through droplets from the nose and mouth. However, there lies a difference.

A child can be infected with COVID-19 as a result of contracting the SARS-CoV-2 virus. On the other hand, the common cold is most often caused by rhinoviruses. In both cases, a child might have a blocked nose. You can keep natural vapour patches handy which will relieve your child from nasal congestion.

However, not every child with COVID-19 experiences symptoms of a cold. Some might have a fever like a normal cold while others may only have a loss of smell or taste unlike cold. Read on to know more.

Hot water can provide relief to your little one’s sore throat. | Image Source: pexels

How Can You Differentiate Between Cold And Covid Symptoms In Kids? 

Symptoms Of Common Cold

  • Blocked nose or congestion
  • Runny nose and cough
  • Sneezing and sore throat
  • Mild fever
  • Watery eyes
  • Muscle pain and a minor headache

Symptoms Of COVID 19

  • Fever and dry cough
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Intense muscle pain
  • Runny nose or congestion
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Sore throat and headache
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Gastrointestinal issues like abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhoea)
  • Dizziness

The symptoms of COVID-19 usually appear two days after exposure to SARS-CoV-2. The doctor usually recommends vitamins and paracetamol and the child gets back his/ her sense of taste and smell within the next 14 days.

On the other hand, the symptoms of a common cold generally appear one to three days after exposure to a cold-causing virus and paracetamols are enough for it. Unlike COVID-19, a cold is mostly harmless.

It is advisable to visit the doctor right away if your child’s illness tends to worsen. | Image Source: pexels

When To Call The Doctor?

Your child’s illness that seems like a cold might turn out to be COVID-19. Therefore, it is advisable to call the doctor right away if your child:

  • has a high fever
  • has trouble breathing 
  • has a bad headache
  • has a sore throat
  • has severe belly pain or pressure in the chest
  • looks bluish on the lips or face
  • has irregular heartbeat

What Can Parents Do To Stop The Spread Of Germs?

  1. Explain to the kids the importance of washing hands regularly with a handwash for at least 20 seconds.
  1. Use a hand sanitiser with 70% alcohol content.
  2. Refrain from people who appear to be sick.
  3. Clean surfaces that are mostly touched like doorknobs, counters, phones and so on.
  4. Make sure kids wear a mask whenever they step out.

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Follow these tips in mind as prevention is always better than cure. Remember, your small steps can alleviate discomfort in your little one.

Cover Image Credit: pexels










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