Achoo! All About Colds

Contributor: Stefani Allegretti. Lesson ID: 13220

Did you know that millions of people get the common cold every year? It's true! The common cold is very common. Learn all about colds and what causes them.


Health and Wellness, Practical Life Skills

Life Skills
learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Beaver, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Imagine your throat is sore, and your nose is runny and stuffy. You start to sneeze. Uh oh! You're probably coming down with a cold!

Let's learn about the common cold and what causes it.

Colds are very common, which means they happen a lot! In fact, according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), there are millions of cases of the cold each year! Wow!

  • So what is a cold exactly?

A cold is an illness or sickness. You will know you have a cold because you develop something called symptoms. Symptoms are like hints or clues that tell us something isn't quite right with our bodies.

Some symptoms of the common cold are:

  • sneezing
  • coughing
  • a runny nose
  • a sore throat

Watch Colds, the Flu, and You from SciShow Kids to learn more about why the cold causes these symptoms:


Colds are caused by viruses. Viruses are very small particles that invade the human body and attack the body's healthy cells. Yikes!

One way to understand how a virus causes colds is to think about a computer virus. Computer viruses are pieces of code that sneak into your computer and make copies of themselves over and over again. These viruses infect your computer until it doesn't work correctly. This is just like a virus in the human body. Viruses sneak into your body and make it harder for it to work correctly, which can result in a cold.

Watch the following section of the Germs Movie for Kids Virus & Bacteria Introduction, from makemegenius, to learn more about viruses:


Fortunately, the body's immune system fights off the virus that causes the common cold. The immune system is like a tiny army inside your body that fights off invaders like viruses! Pretty cool, huh? According to the CDC, a cold only lasts about 7 to 10 days, which isn't too long. The body's immune system is very good at fighting off the common cold!

white blood cell

You might be wondering what you can do to make sure you don't get, or give, the virus that causes a cold. There are lots of things you can do, but one of the best is to practice good hygiene. This includes washing your hands often with soap and water (or using hand sanitizer) and covering your mouth or nose when you cough or sneeze.

Nice work in the Get It! section. Now, let's move on to the Got It? section to see what you learned.

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