Children to trial solution to common colds

Children from Edinburgh and the Lothians are to trial a potential treatment for the common cold – using a simple saltwater solution as nose drops.

Previous research has shown that the homemade remedy can help reduce symptoms of a cold in adults. Now researchers want to check if it works for young children.

The team are looking for children who are under seven-years-old to take part in the study for one cold only.

Mild symptoms

The common cold can be caused by many different viruses. On average, children under seven will catch around six to 12 colds in a year.

Most of the time, symptoms are mild. Rarely, they can lead to more serious lung infections such as pneumonia or bronchiolitis. They can also cause a worsening in symptoms of asthma.

Children are welcome to join up before they have a cold and start the intervention when they next catch one.

Families will be required to keep a diary and collect five nose swabs during one cold.


Families will be compensated for any travel and parking costs incurred if they visit the children’s hospital for the study. Children will be given a goodie bag for taking part. Once they have completed the study they will receive a £30 online voucher.

The Edinburgh and Lothian Virus Intervention Study for Kids – or ELVIS Kids – study is led by the University of Edinburgh and NHS Lothian with funding from the Scottish Government’s Chief Scientist Office.

/University of Edinburgh Public Release. View in full here.