“My one year old has had back to back cold symptoms all year … is that normal?”


“My one year old has had back to back cold symptoms all year … is that normal?”

The Study

A study was published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases in May, 2023. The study followed 245 children from birth to age 2 (April 2017 to July 2020). Each child received weekly nasal swabs testing for 16 viruses, while moms completed surveys looking for cough or fever.

What did they find?

On average, children tested positive for a viral infection 9 times a year, and had symptoms of a cold 3 times a year. The most common viruses were rhinovirus and enterovirus. Visits to the emergency department or hospital happened in:

  • 15% RSV infections
  • 10% of FLU infections
  • 4% of all other infections

Most infections (positive nasal swabs) had mild symptoms or no symptoms at all.


Although most of the study was conducted before the U.S. experienced the COVID pandemic, they concluded:

Moms are right! “Respiratory viral infections are common in children 0-2 years” with most children experiencing multiple infections a year.

Read the original article:

Teoh Z, Conrey S, McNeal M, Burrell A, Burke RM, Mattison C, McMorrow M, Payne DC, Morrow AL, Staat MA. Burden of respiratory viruses in children less than two years in a community-based longitudinal U.S. birth cohort. Clin Infect Dis. 2023 May 9:ciad289. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciad289. PMID: 37157868.

Last Updated on November 1, 2023

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