Common Cold UPPER RESPIRATORY TRACT – It is most frequent and most common infection in infants and adults. Common cold acute nasopharyngitis or influenza syndrome and include systemic febrile illness.


It is usually caused by viruses viz. Andenovirus, rhinovirus, influenza virus, parainfluenza and respiratory syncytial virus. These are spread by droplet infection.

Predisposing, Factors

Chilling, changes of temperature, poor sanitation ad malnutrition predispose to common cold.


Initially upper respiratory tract cells are affected but as disease progresses lower respiratory tract is also involved.first invade the surface ciliated andnon-ciliated epithelial cells resulting in congestion and shedding of the cilia followed by invasion of deeper epithelial cell leads to denudation of the mucosa and edema of subepithelial tissue resulting in congestion.

Clinical Features

– Sneezing

– Nasal discharge watery

– fever and rigor

Medical Management

– No Antibiotics are given unless there is secondary bacterial infection

– Synptomatic treatment is given with analagesics, decongestants, antihistamines etc.


You will assess the patient by observing clinical features which include watery, mboid or purulent discharge; nasal congestion, mild to moderate non-productive cough (a dry hacking cough) usually worse at night and mild to moderate temperature. Eustachian tube and opening may be blocked leading to otitis media and congestion of tympanic membrane. You will also observe that the child will be initable, has decreased appetite, inactivity and sometimes diarrhoea. The illness usually lasts for about three to seven days. Nasopharyngeal Congestion causes obstruction and respiratory distress.

Planning Nursing Care Objective

  • Relieve Nasal congestion and cough,
  • Control fever, Promote rest and isolation,
  • Maintain proper fluid intake and nutrition,
  • Give proper position to the child.

Implementation of Nursing Care of Common Cold UPPER RESPIRATORY TRACT

Relieve Nasal Congestion

Clean the nasal passage to remove secretions. nasal aspirator In case of infants can be used while the younger children can be helped to blow the nose and ticking in anterior nares. Administer nasal drops if prescribed, usually Saline drops are sufficient. If necessary 1/4 per cent ephedrine in saline is used to relieve congestion and antihistamines may also be advised. In children care dont putting nasal drops. Cough can be relieved by steam inhalation and humidification of air. Decongestants are used in case of nasal obstruction.

See Also : Scope in Nursing Profession

Control Fever

Check temperature frequently and accurately. give Paracetamol and/or calcium aspirin in the dose as prescribed to relieve fever any myalagia.

Promote Rest and Isolation

Child ought to be nursed in a different room so as to forestall spread of contamination to others and articles of child ought to be kept discrete. Hand washing ought to be empowered. Give bed rest to child until 24 hours after fever dies down.

Maintain Fluids and Nutrition

Little and regular feeds and liquids like, water, glucose, juice, and different fluids are offered to these children.

Give Proper Position

child in prone position then change the position frequently to avoid pooling of secretions.

Observe for Complication

Watch the child for ear pain, cough, purulent secretions and rise of temperature. If the complications do not occur and child is well.

Please note that this article is for informational purposes only and should not substitute professional medical advice.

Name -Parika Parika holds a Master's in Nursing and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Nursing. In addition to her clinical experience, Parika has also served as a nursing instructor for the past 10 years, she enjoys sharing her knowledge and passion for the nursing profession.

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