Prescription madness – colds, sore throats and flu

The American Academy of Pediatrics provides a website bursting with information that might be helpful to parents as they work with their own pediatrician in keeping their children healthy:

Washing hands, eating healthfully, and getting rest is the best way to stave off colds and viruses. When your child is under the weather, be vigilant and call your doctor for initial advice and when any of your child’s symptoms worsen or are ongoing.

Cold/flu/sore throat:

Sore throats and fevers should be monitored closely. Call your doctor—they appreciate a phone call before things get bad. Calling doesn’t mean they will have you come into the office, but it helps to have a consultation in order to decide whether a visit is necessary. When it comes to childhood illness it’s better to call and be sure you’re treating your child’s symptoms appropriately.
Lots of fluids—warm drinks, chicken soup, apple juice
Lots of rest—load up on books and board games
Light meals—toast and less dairy to cut down on mucus retention

Pain relievers—aches and pains are a sign to slow down—take over the counter medicines carefully, upon advice of your doctor and according to your child’s weight and age

No aspirin
Blow nose—do not suck mucus back into nasal passages
Vicks on chest and under nose
Steamy shower
Extra pillow to prop up in bed
Saline nose to loosen mucus—DO NOT use sprays with medicines in them
Gargle with warm salt water
Honey with warm fluids (only for children over 1)
Avoid smoke

Kathleen Shoop, PHD is a freelance writer from Oakmont.