COLD AND FLU SEASON TIPS
Here are some tips to help you make it through the cold and flu season. Also remember that it is common to get 7-12 colds per year, so you and your child are not alone in your suffering!
HOW TO KEEP FROM GETTING SICK:
You cannot catch a cold by going outside in the cold weather with wet hair or by not being dressed appropriately! That is an old myth which is not based on facts. Colds are spread by viruses, not bad weather. The reason you may catch more colds in the fall and winter is because you’re spending more time indoors and have greater exposure to people who are infected.
TIP: Wash your hands frequently, get your rest, and eat a balanced diet. Don’t touch your face after contact with a sick person, as that helps the germs get near your mucus membranes (mouth, nose, eyes) and gives the germs a way to enter your body. Also, don’t share drinking or eating utensils.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU GET SICK:
Get plenty of rest and drink plenty of fluids. Take over the counter medications to help treat symptoms, see below.
Some new prescription drugs can shorten symptoms caused by viruses, but must be taken in the first 24 hours of developing symptoms.
Check with your school nurse about your school’s policy about when to keep a child home from school.
WHEN TO CALL YOUR DOCTOR:
Any prolonged or severe symptoms including: severe sore throat with a fever, persistent cough (especially if your child has asthma), fever over 102 degrees, persistent vomiting or diarrhea, a cough that produces bloody, thick green or brown phlegm.
ANTIBIOTICS ARE NOT ALWAYS THE BEST TREATMENT:
Antibiotics have no effect on cold viruses. In fact, they often encourage vomiting and diarrhea, which are the last thing your child needs. Unnecessary use of antibiotics also helps breed more resistant bacteria, so the antibiotics may not work as well when your child really needs them.
Never pressure health care workers to prescribe a “quick fix” antibiotic.
When antibiotics are prescribed, you should take the correct dosage for the entire period of time. Call your doctor if you develop any rash or hives.
Never take anyone else’s medication.