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The Common Cold

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Basics on the topic The Common Cold

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What is a cold?

Have you ever had a cough or sore throat? Did you feel tired or did you have to blow your nose frequently? These symptoms are signs of a cold. Did you ever talk about the common cold in school? A cold is an illness caused by viruses. Colds are very common and are often harmless. Cold viruses are everywhere, but most of the time they don't make you sick. So how does a cold come about? What are symptoms and how does your body defend itself?

Cold Symptoms - Explained for Kids Symptoms are signs that let you know you have a cold. The following symptoms can occur individually or together: * You are cold and you may have chills. * Sore throat * Your nose runs and you have to blow it frequently * Cough * Sneezing * Headache

Your body defends itself against the virus to get rid of the cold quickly. The immune system is responsible for this. What is the immune system? The immune system is an important defense system that fights invaders and protects you from getting sick. Immune cells fight viruses and other illnesses and make sure that you don't get sick every time, for example, when another student in your class has a cold. Your immune system stores information about pathogens that it has previously fought against. So it can protect you better and better.

For this reason there are also vaccinations. They train your immune system without making you sick. Too little sleep, persistent stress or an unhealthy diet can have a negative impact on your immune system. This can make you more susceptible to bacteria and viruses, such as catching a cold.

How does a cold come about?

Even though your immune system is works hard, sometimes you get a cold. This is completely normal and also happens when your immune system is very strong. Especially in winter, there is a high risk of catching a cold. But why does this happen more often in winter?

How ​​does cold cause a cold? Colds are caused by cold viruses. The cold cannot cause a cold! But still, the seasons and the weather play an important role. When it's cold, the air is drier. Viruses can therefore multiply well. At the same time, dry air affects the your nose. To protect you and others, there are hygiene measures. They ensure that viruses do not spread so easily. Washing your hands regularly, sneezing or coughing into the crook of your arm, and wearing a mask are especially helpful when you or others around you have a cold. Even after you've blown your nose with a tissue, be sure to wash your hands.

What helps when you have a cold?

When you have a cold, rest and recovery are most important. This allows your body to gather strength and you will usually recover quickly. Also, you should drink plenty of water. Warm tea can also be nice when you have a cold. You can also support your immune system by eating vitamin-rich and nutritious food. This can be, for example, a delicious soup, fresh fruit or a sandwich. There are no direct medicines against cold viruses. However, if the cold symptoms are particularly severe or uncomfortable, medication can be taken to reduce these symptoms. A doctor can help you here. Also, be sure to ask your parents before you take any medication.

Transcript The Common Cold

Psst, today we're going to talk about things that are so small they can be found on the metro... on the bench at the park... on a shopping cart at the store... and even lurk inside your body without you being able to see them! We're talking about viruses that cause the... common cold. But wait, don't worry! There are hygiene practices that you can do to protect yourself and others from getting sick. You can wash your hands regularly... sneeze or cough into your elbow... and wear a mask if you or others around you are sick. But what happens if that doesn't work? Well, then you still have your immune system! Every day your immune system fights against invaders like the common cold virus and protects you from getting sick! Of course the virus and immune system look different in real life. And everything is so small that we can't see anything without a tool like a microscope. The immune system remembers every enemy it's had to fight before. So, it gets better and better at protecting you! And if we want to train the immune system without getting sick, we use vaccines. But, even though your immune system works hard, sometimes there are too many viruses to fight off at once and you catch a cold. You can feel this by specific signs of illness called symptoms. In the beginning you might feel a little cold... and your throat might hurt. Then you usually catch a cold, and need to cough and sneeze. The mucus you cough up or that sometimes comes out of your nose can infect others. So it's important that it ends up in a tissue and that you ALWAYS wash your hands after blowing your nose. Another symptom could be a headache. But how DO you get rid of a cold? One way is to drink a lot. Liquids like water, warm tea with honey, and juice can help. Your body also needs a lot of rest when you are sick. Medicine can sometimes help you to feel better, but doesn't always get rid of the sickness... So, before you take medicine, make sure to ask your parents. But, mostly your immune system has to work hard to get rid of the virus. You can help your immune system by eating food that has lots of vitamins and nutrients. For example chicken noodle soup! Some people also say that a cold comes in three days, stays for three days, and starts to go away for three days. Which means most people feel better after nine to ten days. As you can see, everyone gets a cold sooner or later... and as long as you take care of your body and rest, a cold is usually not a problem. Then you'll usually be happy and healthy again in no time!

The Common Cold exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learned? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video The Common Cold.
  • What are some of the symptoms of the common cold?

    Hints

    If the symptom is a headache, where would that go on the body?

    A sore throat is pain felt in the throat.

    What usually comes out from your nose when you have a cold?

    When you have the common cold, you may feel cold all over.

    Solution
    • He has a headache on his head.
    • He has a sore throat on his throat.
    • He has mucus coming out of his nose.
    • He feels cold on his body.
  • What should Zuri do?

    Hints

    Zuri should cover her nose and mouth.

    Zuri should keep her hands clean.

    Zuri should make sure to sneeze into her elbow.

    Solution

    To stop the spread of Zuri's cold she can:

    • Wear a mask
    • Sneeze into her elbow
    • Wash or disinfect her hands

  • Fill in the blanks with the correct answers.

    Hints

    Wearing a mask, sneezing into your sleeve and washing your hands are good hygiene practices.

    Treatment options for the common cold include drinking fluids, getting rest, and eating foods with vitamins and nutrients.

    Solution

    When Yeti goes shopping he should wear a mask. He can hope to recover in 9-10 days. To feel better he will need plenty of rest. Medicine might help him feel better, but he should ask his parent. He can also eat foods that have lots of vitamins and nutrients.

  • Find the matching pairs

    Hints

    The immune system fights infections.

    Microscopic viruses that make us sick can only be seen through a microscope.

    Solution

    Signs of illness - symptoms

    Fighters of infection - the immune system

    They are microscopic, yet make us sick - viruses

    A tool that makes viruses visible - microscope

  • Which are symptoms of the common cold?

    Hints

    When you catch the common cold virus, in the beginning you might feel a little cold.

    Your throat might also hurt when you have the common cold.

    If you catch a cold, you may cough and sneeze.

    Solution
    • She feels cold
    • Her throat hurts
    • She has a cough
  • Highlight the errors in the statements below.

    Hints

    The immune system fights off viruses, but may not be able to if there are too many.

    We can help our immune system by eating nutritious foods, drinking fluids and getting plenty of rest.

    Vaccines help train the immune system.

    Solution

    The answers in bold are incorrect and the ones in (parenthesis) are correct.

    1.The common cold is caused by a kind of bacteria (virus).

    2.Viruses can be seen through a telescope (microscope) as they live in space (everywhere).

    3.The immune system can fight off most viruses except when they are too many.

    4.While you are sick with the common cold it's best to increase fluids and get vaccinated (get rest).

    5.(Vaccines) Medicines help train the immune system without getting sick.