Also called: URI, Upper Respiratory Tract Infection
An upper respiratory infection (URI) is an infection that affects the nose and throat. A cold is the most common type of URI. Croup and sinusitis are also URIs.
URIs may cause swelling inside the nose, which is what gives a person that "stuffed up" feeling. Other common symptoms include a sore throat, sneezing, and a runny nose.
URIs are highly contagious and spread through coughing, hand contact, and even by touching objects an infected person has touched. Kids in childcare and grade school get the most colds. Infections like this are most widespread in winter months.
Most colds clear up in a week with no treatment. If a URI lasts longer than a week or your child is getting worse instead of better, talk to a doctor. Pain in the chest, ears, or sinuses could be signs of a more serious infection.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.
|Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) The CDC (the national public health institute of the United States) promotes health and quality of life by preventing and controlling disease, injury, and disability.|
|American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.|
|American Academy of Family Physicians This site, operated by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), provides information on family physicians and health care, a directory of family physicians, and resources on health conditions.|
|Croup Croup is characterized by a loud cough that resembles the barking of a seal and difficulty breathing. Most cases of croup are caused by viruses, are mild, and can be treated at home.|
|First Aid: Common Cold Kids can get up to eight colds a year - or more. The common cold sends more kids to the doctor than any other illness.|
|Hand Washing Did you know that the most important thing you can do to keep from getting sick is to wash your hands? If you don't wash your hands frequently, you can pick up germs from other sources and then infect yourself.|
|First Aid: Sore Throat Sore throats are usually caused by viruses. Here's what to do if your child has a sore throat.|
|Is It a Cold or the Flu? Your child is sent home from school with a sore throat, cough, and high fever - could it be the flu that's been going around? Or is it just a common cold? Find out here!|
|Adenovirus Adenoviruses account for about 10% of acute respiratory infections in kids and are a frequent cause of diarrhea.|
|Why Does My Nose Run? You may have heard the old joke: If your nose is running and your feet smell, you must be upside down! But did you ever wonder why your nose runs?|
|Coping With Colds Most teens get between two and four colds each year. Read this article for the facts on chicken soup, cold medicines, and other ways to feel better.|
|Laryngitis Did you ever hear someone say, "I lost my voice"? Did you think: "What did you do with it?" The person might have laryngitis.|
|Chilling Out With Colds Cough, sneeze, snort. Those are the sounds of a cold. Find out more about colds in this article for kids.|
|Sinusitis Sinus infections, or sinusitis, are common and easily treated.|
|Sinusitis If you've been waking up with headaches, feeling stuffy or congested, and experiencing swelling around your eyes, you may have sinusitis - an infection of the sinus air spaces found in the bones around the nose.|
|Respiratory Syncytial Virus Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a major cause of respiratory illness in young children. Learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms of this contagious infection.|
|Common Cold With kids getting up to eight colds a year, this contagious viral infection is the most common infectious disease in the United States and the top reason kids visit the doctor and miss school.|
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