You asked

I’ve heard so many different things about colds and flu. Which ones are true and which ones are myths

Since most children contract a cold at least five times per year, knowing how the difference between truth and myths will save you time and money and could help your child get well faster.Here are a list of common myths about colds and flu:

Over the counter medicines will cure a cold or flu – While they may relieve some of the symptoms, over the counter medicines do not cure. In fact, they can be dangerous if given incorrectly.

Antibiotics will not cure a cold or flu – Colds and the flu are viruses. Antibiotics kill bacteria and do nothing for viruses. Anti-viral drugs are the only thing that works.

The flu is just a bad cold – Not true. A flu virus is much tougher on the body and takes longer to go away. The best indication of flu versus cold is how quickly your child got sick. A cold comes on slowly over a few days. With the flu, your child will be extremely sick the same day the symptoms surface.

When your child has a cold, take them to the doctor – If your child has no underlying medical condition, a doctor visit for a cold will not help. Doctors can do nothing to help your child get over their cold faster.

Kids do not need flu vaccines – It is just as important for children to get immunised as it is for adults. If you are concerned about immunising your child you should consult their doctor.

Zinc, vitamin C, and Echinacea will alleviate cold symptoms – Some studies have shown they will help, and other studies have shown they will not help. In children, even natural remedies can be dangerous, so it’s always a good idea to consult your physician.

Children catch colds and flu from creche – The numbers show that this is true for the first year your child attends crèche; however, they catch less colds and flu thereafter. It is presumed that this is due to the body’s ability to build up a tolerance.

Getting wet and cold will make your child catch a cold – Not entirely true. If a dormant cold virus is present, being wet and cold can make the virus surface. However, you cannot catch a cold virus from only being wet and cold.

Feed a cold and starve a fever – This has been debated in the medical world for years and years. There are studies to show it is true and studies to show it is false. The best thing to do is let your child make the decision. If they feel like eating, they will. Just make sure that they stay hydrated and only worry if they go for some time without eating.

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