How Many Days of Runny Noses In a Year?

English: Group of children in a primary school...

Group of children in a primary school in Paris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yes and no.

At first, kids in day care do get more colds than kids who stay home.

Then, the older they get, the fewer colds they get, fewer than those who stayed home during those day care years.

That is, once they hit school-age, children who stayed at home get more colds than children who were in day care.

I remember my second son getting a cold when he was two months old.

As I was nursing, I thought he couldn’t get sick.

But, I had a cold, so, of course he didn’t have immunity from a cold I wasn’t immune to.

Children get an average of six to ten colds a year, each lasting 10 to 14 days.

That’s 60 to 140 days of runny noses a year.

Besides, there are other risk factors for colds than day care:

  • More siblings
  • Low family income

This information comes from two studies.

One studied 135,000 children in Denmark, which found that children under two in day care were more likely to get colds than those at home, especially those in day care who were under six months.

One studied children up to 13, finding that those who had been to day care as pre-schoolers were much less likely to get colds than those who had not.

Is There Anything You Can Do?

Hand washing is the best preventive for colds.

Your grandchildren should wash their hands after they go to the bathroom.

They should wash their hands before they eat.

They should wash their hands after they come home from somewhere, like day care.

The second thing you can do is teach your grandchildren not to touch their eyes or mouth.

It is picking up germs from touching something someone with a cold handled, then touching your eyes or mouth where the cold can enter the body, that spreads the germs.

The third thing you can do, though it doesn’t eliminate the cold, is help with symptoms.

Tylenol and Motrin help with aches and fever.

Do not give children aspirin, as it can lead to the rare Reye’s Syndrome, which can be fatal.

The FDA has recommended that children under four not be given cough or cold medicines.

Thanks to the book, Don’t Cross Your Eyes…They’ll Get Stuck That Way for answering this question.

Click on the title to order your own copy of the book.

This article first appeared on

Do you get as many colds as you used to?

When did you start noticing you had fewer colds?

Did you ever travel anywhere and get a new cold?

To you and keeping your sweet grandchildren healthy.


Carol Covin, Granny-Guru

Author, “Who Gets to Name Grandma? The Wisdom of Mothers and Grandmothers


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