Five Myths About Colds
Cold Hard Facts?
These five stubborn myths about colds just aren't true.
Myth: Antibiotics will help your child get over a cold. Since colds are caused by viruses, they aren't treatable with antibiotics, which kill only bacteria.
Myth: Green snot means your child has a sinus infection. Colds typically go through a phase when the nasal secretions are yellowish or greenish.
Myth: Starve a cold. It's important for your child to eat to keep her body strong and help her fight the infection. Don't worry, though, if she doesn't have much of an appetite for a day or two. Just make sure she keeps drinking. "If she has a fever and a runny nose, it's easy for her to get dehydrated," Dr. Baker says.
Myth: Don't let him cough. Coughing is actually a protective mechanism that clears mucus from your child's respiratory tract. Avoid giving him a cough suppressant unless it's specifically recommended by your doctor.
Myth: Herbs, vitamins, and minerals stave off sickness. Researchers have rigorously tested vitamin C, echinacea, and zinc--with disappointing results. In fact, one recent study found that some kids who take zinc have unpleasant side effects, such as nausea, diarrhea, and throat irritation.