Try acetaminophen and maybe some plain Robitussin or Robitussin with decongestant. At 12 y/o most kids can take what an adult does. Try having the child gargle with some warm salt water for the throat too. Just be sure to read labels so that you dont give too much of any one medication-many liquid cold meds have several ingredients and can have acetaminophen in them too so if you give acetaminophen (Tylenol) tabs, and a liquid med, be sure that there is not acetaminophen in the liquid. Too much acetaminophen can poison the liver.
I would suggest the symptoms if all 3 are prevelant is beyond traditional over the counter treatment. A headache and sore throat are common to influenza and sore throat and clogging ears are common to common cold. The difference is one is virual (influenza) and the other bacterial (common cold). The common cold can be treated with traditional over the counter medication. Virual infection is rest and fluids (water is prefered) and there is no medication that can help.
If the child is experiencing all 3 symptoms you may want to start with an air quality test in the home and notify the school to do the same. Often there are mold spores in the air which have remain undetected and sensitivity to these spores drastically varies from person to person.
Mold will cause sore throats and the ears also becoming congested with building up of wax. Headaches are caused by pressure to the inner ear. If the air is deemed to be in the normal range then we can dismiss air quality.
I would then speak to the doctor about earwax build up causing pressure to the inner ear which will develop into headaches. Being 12 a look at the tonsils should also be considered.
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