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Has any child, ever, managed to get through childhood without getting a cold? Probably not. Runny noses, hacking coughs, and tired, miserable children are one of rites of passage that any parent of children, anywhere, has to go through.
Because colds are so commonplace, we’ve all grown up with a huge list of dos and don’ts regarding colds. Some are true, but more of them are myths. Here are a few:
- A child with a cold should not play outside
- A child with a cold should not take a bath
- Children with colds should always wear socks
- Children with colds shouldn’t drink cold water
- Children with colds should take medicine immediately
Actually, fresh air and sunshine is good for a child with a cold—just don’ let him get cold and tired playing, because that’ll weaken his defenses. There’s nothing wrong with a nice warm bath either—and, in fact, a steamy bath or shower can work wonders in clearing your child’s head and lungs of all the nasty mucus that is accumulating there.
Whether your child wears socks or no won’t have anything do with how long his cold takes to get better. It’s actually really important he or she drinks as much as possible, and cold liquids are perfectly fine. Just skip the soda pop or super sweet juices; sugar suppresses the immune system.
Doctors today recommend you skip the cough syrup or antibiotic if your child just has a common cold—save them for the real problems like bronchitis or pneumonia, or they won’t be able to help much when you really need them.
What can you do to help your child get over his or her cold quickly? Encourage as much rest as possible; if your child doesn’t want to stay in bed—and most don’t—suggest quiet times reading or playing with Legos. Give your little one as much ‘lap time’ as desired. Vitamins and nutritious foods are very important, as well as lots of liquids—especially good clean water. And be patient. It won’t be long before your little boy or girl is back to their happy cheery self, and their immune system will be stronger from having been attacked.