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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Fact or Fiction — How Do You Treat a Cold?

We carried with us from childhood and passed down those helpful health tips that had us moving back from the television and bundling up against the cold, but how many of these traditional tales should we continue to follow? Dr. Mike Patrick, an emergency room physician at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, sheds some new light on old wives’ tales.

Myth #1: Going out into the winter air with wet hair will cause you to catch a cold.
FACT: Colds are caused by viruses which you catch from other people, explains Dr. Patrick. Cold weather does not affect the immune system or make it more likely that you will catch a virus.

Myth #2: Wake a child with a concussion every 2 hours.
FACT: Dr. Patrick says it is more important for the child to get uninterrupted rest so that his/her brain can heal properly.

Myth #3: Sitting too close to the television/electronics will ruin your child’s eyesight.
FACT: Staring at a screen may cause a child’s eyes to be dry, but it is not typically a significant issue.

Myth #4: Feed a cold, starve a fever.
FACT: Drink plenty of fluids when you are sick with any illness. You want to stay hydrated and your body needs calories as soon as you feel like eating. Dr. Patrick suggests never starve any illness intentionally.

Myth #5: Teething causes a fever.
FACT: When your child is fussy because his/her teeth are coming in, the forehead may feel warm. However, it is a viral infection that causes a fever.


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