With changing seasons, from late winters to early summers, runny noses and watery eyes may become a familiar sight for you as parents. These can indicate a common cold or flu, both of which are respiratory problems. Detecting early symptoms can help cure the issue with ease, causing less discomfort to your little ones. 

Let’s dive deeper into this guide, differentiating between the two while unfolding various ways to manage the two illnesses comfortably.

Difference between the Common Cold and the Flu

Common cold and flu are often mistaken as one by most of us. Thanks to their similar symptoms, most times, it gets tough to distinguish between them. However, in reality, there exists a significant difference between the symptoms and causal agents of the two most common respiratory problems in kids. 

The following section talks about the significant dissimilarities between the common cold and the flu in detail. Take a look:

What is Common Cold?

As parents, you know how troublesome the common cold can be for your little one. It is one of the main reasons for kids’ frequent visits to the doctor’s clinic, especially during their growth years. This is because, at this stage, their immune system is in its developing stage and easily susceptible to diseases. 

The primary carrier of a cold can be multiple variants of viruses like rhinovirus or coronavirus. Colds are mild, and the infected person witnesses a stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, or cough. Moreover, a cold is a contagious disease and gets transferred through air or by direct contact with the infected person.


  • Nasal Congestion – The mucus in the nose is thin at the beginning but becomes thicker with advancing cold, leading to a congested nose. Your child can experience breathing problems, find it difficult to sleep at night, and may snore!
  • Watery and Puffy Eyes– Your kid might get puffy eyes as a result of continuous watering. This makes it difficult for your little one to concentrate on studies and other things, leading to irritation.
  • Sore Throat– This is one of the signs your child may experience before catching a full-fledged cold. A sore throat may cause difficulty swallowing food or saliva and result in throat inflammation.
  • Coughing– It can be understood as the natural mechanism of the body to clear away built-up mucus in the nasal passage. Your little one may find relief after getting rid of the stored mucus, but it may sometimes transform into severe forms. 

Cough can be dry or wet on the basis of the amount of discharge. A dry cough is more painful and may sometimes cause a tear in the throat, making it difficult to swallow.

What is Flu?

The flu, also known as Influenza, is caused by the Influenza virus. It is also one of the most common ailments affecting children and is more severe than the common cold. The health issue is likely to last for up to 2 or 3 weeks and, if not treated, may result in pneumonia. 

Moreover, the mode of transmission of flu remains the same as the common cold. It also spreads from coming in contact with an infected person or through air.


  • Body Ache– As compared to the common cold, where your child may encounter mild body aches, the flu comes with severe body aches, resulting in muscle pain, back pain, and much more tiredness. This can hamper your child’s ability to pursue routine activities and make him sluggish.
  • High Fever– Flu causes high fever in kids. This condition can last for several days, weakening your child if it is not given medical remedies quickly.
  • Chills and Sweating– Your child may experience bouts of chills followed by sweating, regulating the body temperature. This can be pretty uncomfortable for your child.
  • Digestive Problems– Kids with flu may get vomiting, diarrhea, and other digestive problems. This can affect their appetite as well as their strength. Symptoms like this may complicate the problem by causing dehydration, which leads to more coughing.
  • Headache– As a parent, you can differentiate between the common cold and the flu, given that kids with the flu get a more throbbing headache as compared to mild ones in the common cold.
  • Cough– Coughing is more intense and severe most of the time, containing no mucus. 

When to seek Medical Help?

Common colds and flu might appear as seasonal illnesses with mild symptoms. However, there are specific signs that require instant help from health experts. These symptoms are as follows: 

  • When your child gets troubled by frequent bouts of coughing and sneezing.
  • When the fever is constantly high and it doesn’t show any reduction despite medications.
  • If your child is suffering from respiratory issues like asthma, you must seek your doctor’s help when they catch a cold or flu. 
  • If your kid hasn’t urinated or drank any fluid in the last 8 hours. 
  • If the muscle pain is too much, causing problems with sleep.

Home remedies for cold and flu in kids

Ayurveda has a plethora of herbs and practices to ease your kid’s cold and flu symptoms naturally. You can employ these home remedies after consulting with your doctor. 

  • Honey

Honey has various antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. It is quite effective in relieving sore throat and cough. However, you should strictly avoid giving honey to kids younger than 12 months, as it has spores that can cause infant botulism in them. 

You can add honey to yogurt, smoothies, or other food items for a tasty treat for kids. Moreover, you can replace sugar with honey in tea or other light beverages. 

  • Ginger tea

Ginger is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It helps ease muscle pain, relieve a sore throat, and treat nausea if present. You can add ginger to tea and serve it to your kid for quick relief from cold. 

  • Salt water gargle

You must have got this advice from your mothers or grandmothers to ease cold symptoms. The process loosens mucus and eases sore throat pain and nasal congestion. However, you cannot use this method for infants or toddlers. For this remedy:

  1. Dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in a glass of water.
  2. Fill your mouth with this water.
  3. Swirl it in your mouth and throat.
  4. Spit it out.

Note: Always ensure to be present with your kids while they gargle. 

  • Garlic

Garlic possesses a powerful compound called allicin, which is good for your health. You can add garlic to your kid’s diet to lighten the severity of cold symptoms. 

  • Suvarnaprashan

BabyOrgano Suvarnaprashan Drops is an Ayurvedic formulation that boosts immunity and promotes overall health in kids. It is made using pure gold ash or Swarna Bhasm and 10+ herbs like Shankhpushpi, Brahmi, Vacha, etc. While you can administer Swarnaprashan to your kid any day, it is best suited for Pushyanakshatra. On this auspicious day, the medical potency of gold is at its highest level. As Swarnaprashan has gold ash in it, Pushyanakshatra enhances its power naturally. 


Our kids are likely to fall ill during their growth years because of their developing body systems and weak immunity. As parents, you would never want to see your kids suffering in pain. So, to help you, I have shared some deep insights on the nature, symptoms, and preventive measures of cold and flu in kids. I hope you will find them helpful. Keep reading us for more informative guides.