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How Long Is A Child Contagious With The Cold?

The Common cold is a viral infection infecting the upper respiratory tract and is the most common illness in the U.S. Children and infants are affected more frequently than adults. This way children miss their school quite often. However, it is good to keep the children stay at home and not attend school when they have a common cold or fever.

This is because they can spread the infection to others as the common cold is contagious. Let us read further to know how long is a child contagious with the cold.

How Long Is A Child Contagious With The Cold?

How Long Is A Child Contagious With The Cold?

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, the average young child between the age group of one to three years may get around twelve colds every year.(1)

Children miss school due to the common cold. As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, i.e. CDC, common colds are one of the primary reasons people miss school or work.(2)

Colds are most contagious during the incubation period of the virus. Generally, the signs and symptoms of a cold begin one to two days after exposure to the cold virus.

Children often experience nasal congestion and suffer from cough, nasal discharge, and also have a fever. Usually, symptoms of a common cold are more during the first two to four days, and these are the times when a cold is most contagious, or it is in those days when the cold can be spread from the children to other healthy children or person, especially when they come in their contact.

Sometimes, a child might transmit a cold to other children or people even a few days before they begin to experience the symptoms. The cold infection remains to be contagious as long as a child has the symptoms.

When Is Cold Most Contagious In A Child?

On the days when a child is feeling their worst, which might be in between three to five days, they are most contagious and can infect other children and people around them. However, symptoms of the common cold can last up to two weeks, and they are contagious as long as they have the symptoms.

How Can Your Child Spread Cold Virus To Others?

Your child can carry the cold virus on their hands and can infect other children. When others touch their hands, the virus on their hands can be transmitted to others. The cold virus can enter other’s bodies through the nose, eyes, or mouth.

The viruses responsible for cold in your child can spread via the air. When your child with the cold virus sneezes, coughs, or talks, they can spread respiratory droplets via air and these droplets contain the virus that can infect others when they inhale these respiratory particles.

Additionally, contaminated surfaces and objects can also transmit the cold virus. According to a recent research, it has been proved that the common cold virus can live outside the body for two to three hours. (3)

Let Your Child With Cold, Rest; And Not Be Around Other Children!

Children with a cold can infect other children. So, if your child is affected by the cold or has a fever, let them stay at home and not be around other children. Let them rest and not attend school. Once, symptoms are gone, and your child has recovered from the illness, they can resume their classes and meet with other children.


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 12, 2023

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