14 May 2019


As the weather gets colder, families and especially children are likely to come down with colds, sore throats, and runny noses.

The full range of cold symptoms are the result of acute respiratory tract infections (ARTI), a short-term infectious illness involving the respiratory system. 

And under the ARTI umbrella, there are a variety of conditions – some minor such as coughs and colds, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, congestion to more serious illness such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and bronchiolitis – all of them unpleasant and disruptive. 

UniSA researcher, Sandra Lucas, says there are real costs to the common cold. 

“Time off school, time off work to care for sick children, visits to the GP and sometimes the emergency department - all add up to an economic cost as well as a personal one,” Lucas says. 

“The evidence says we should limit the overuse of antibiotics for children with ARTI – so parents usually have to manage the symptoms of the cold over what is typically a 7-14-day duration.

“Our research is looking at how they do this – and specifically, what alternative and traditional treatments they may use, and why they choose them.”

Lucas says there has been some historical research suggesting that soups, especially traditional chicken and vegetable soups, may be helpful in the treatment of some symptoms of ARTI. 

“People use a range of treatments from Chinese medicine and herbal treatments, right through to simple home remedies passed down through the family, like wholesome chicken soup, and we want to know about them," she says.

UniSA researchers are keen to find out what treatment’s parents may be using to ease the symptoms of ARTI and how they are being used around the nation. 

The national study asks parents who use traditional or alternative treatments for their children to contribute to an online survey that takes about 15 minutes to complete. 

Participants will go into the draw to win one of five $20 Coles/ Myer gift card. 

More information about the research, and how people can participate, is available at https://www.facebook.com/CAMARTIinchildren/ 

UniSA media contact: 

Michèle Nardelli phone: +61 418 823 673 or +61 882960854 email: michele.nardelli@unisa.edu.au


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