Common Cold and Pneumonia Symptoms

Common cold to Pneumonia: Respiratory health issues in children

How do you understand the symptoms? 

The symptoms of most respiratory illnesses in children, starting from a common cold to complex pneumonia, may seem similar to a layman and, at times, quite confusing too. Common colds and pneumonia are such infections. At such a point many fail to take the right action for getting medical help, which can further lead to complications. That is why, It is very important to be aware of symptoms so that a child is not deprived of necessary medical care at a crucial time.

Understanding the Common Cold

The common cold is an upper respiratory tract viral infection caused by various viruses. It is most often seen in young children. 

The symptoms of the common cold are : 

  • Runny nose: This is often the first symptom and it also comes along with congestion of the nasal passage.
  • A mild cough and sore throat: Postnasal drip causes irritation thus leading to mild cough and sore throat. 
  • Low-grade fever: The sign may or may not present in children, however, fever could be mild. 
  • Irritability: irritability due to blocked noses in babies and kids, troubling them more during feeds is a very usual symptom. 

These symptoms usually go away after about one week or ten days; however, they are more severe for about 24-48 hours before getting better. Though mostly handled at home, the common cold can also be managed through:

Rest: Aids in the process of recovering from illness and keeps the spread of the virus. 

Hydration: Helps to soothe congestion while keeping the child’s throat moistened.

Comfort measures: Such as saline nasal drops and a cool-mist humidifier, can ease breathing difficulties.

Food and fluids: Breastfed babies should be fed at regular intervals so that they do not become dehydrated. To ease blocked nasal passages, try using saline nasal drops. Babies over 6 months should be fed warm foods like vegetable stock or chicken broth to ease the symptoms and fill their tiny tummies with nutritious food to help them recover faster. 

Honey, ginger or tulsi leaves or any homemade concoctions should not be given to babies below 6 months. Children above 1 year can be treated with some home remedies to ease symptoms, Do not administer adult medications to children. Do not use rubs meant for adults over children. 

Parents beware not to use any OTC medicines for children below two years of age.

For easing common cold symptoms. For infants below 3 months, it doesn’t matter how mild the symptoms might be, a visit to a paediatrician is a must. 

However, if symptoms persist or get worse over time, parents should seek proper medical attention from certified paediatricians. Some childhood illnesses require guidance from the best pediatric doctor in Hyderabad and, therefore, play a critical role in maintaining good health.

Could it be Pneumonia? How to recognise the symptoms? 

Pneumonia is a respiratory illness that noticeably affects the lungs and is caused by different pathogens such as bacteria, viruses and fungi. In contrast to the common cold, pneumonia causes inflammation of air sacs in one or both lungs, which can fill with fluid or pus, leading to:

  • High fever, Cough, chills, fast breathing, and breathing with grunting or wheezing sounds are common in pneumonia. As the infection progresses it can lead to difficulty in breathing and chest pain, working hard to breathe, vomiting, and chest pain to be considered an emergency. Immediate medical evaluation, especially from the finest pediatric surgeon in Hyderabad who can give you an accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Can the common cold progress to pneumonia? 

At times, there may be a subtle progression from the ordinary flu to pneumonia. One should therefore look out for danger signs that call for immediate action:

  1. Persistent high fever: From 101 to as high as 105 degrees F, Pneumonia has a higher temperature that does not come down even after medicine is administered. 
  2. Difficult respiration/wheezing: If whistling sounds during inhalation occur, it’s usually difficult to get air into the lungs, which means you need to seek a doctor’s help immediately.
  3. No response to remedies meant for minor colds: See your pediatric surgeon or physician if symptoms don’t improve using OTC drugs meant for simple flu.

The Role of Pediatric Specialists

When a child’s respiratory disease symptoms become worse, the intervention of pediatric specialists is essential. Pediatric surgeon Hyderabad houses some of the finest pediatric doctors and surgeons who are equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary to treat extreme cases like pneumonia. They offer:

  1. Advanced Diagnostics: These include chest X-rays as well as blood tests to enable accurate diagnosis of pneumonia. 
  2. Specialized Treatments: From antibiotics for bacterial pneumonia to supportive care for viral cases. 
  3. Comprehensive Care: Not only addressing the immediate infection but also any underlying or resultant health issues.


Distinguishing between the common cold and pneumonia is critical for a child’s well-being. While both conditions share respiratory symptoms, pneumonia presents with more severe signs that demand immediate attention. Recognizing these symptoms early and consulting with the best pediatric doctor in Hyderabad can make a significant difference in your child’s recovery and health. As parents, trusting your instincts and seeking expert advice at the first sign of serious illness is paramount.

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