Putting a Chill on Cold and Flu Myths – First With Kids – UVM Children’s Hospital

(bouncy acoustic music) (coughing) – Since this is the time of year when we celebrate George
Washington’s birthday, and we’re still in cold and flu season, I thought I would not tell lies this week just like President
Washington, and instead, speak the truth about
some rumors that exist regarding the common cold. For example, parents ask me if it’s true that you can catch a cold
by being out in the cold. Well that’s not true. There is no data to support
that exposure to cold temperatures causes a cold. Instead you need to
remember that cold symptoms are caused by viruses, and you’re more apt to catch a virus by being indoors and in contact with other
people who can spread the virus or leave germs on tables,
glasses, any items in the house that others can pick up,
and then become infected. In fact, if we spent more
time out in the cold, perhaps we wouldn’t get so many viruses that cause colds indoors. An even better myth is
that covering your hand when you cough or sneeze
avoids spreading the cold. Actually, that enhances
the spread of germs since you’re apt to shake
hands or touch someone and pass on the cold germs in your hand before they’ve had a chance to die. Consider coughing into a Kleenex or a handkerchief instead. Then there’s the confusion regarding, should you feed a cold and starve a fever? Or feed a fever and starve a cold? In both circumstances, colds and fevers, you need more fluid and
food since your body burns energy up at a greater
rate with an infection or a fever, and the more
calories you can get into your child when they don’t feel well, the sooner that child’s going
to begin to feel better. Finally, what about chicken soup? Is it the magic needed
to cure a common cold? Well, while a hot liquid
can certainly soothe a scratchy throat, there is
no evidence that chicken soup has a special power to
cure the common cold. It does taste good. It’s going to make you feel good, but not because it has
magical healing powers, although the salt,
protein, and extra fluid in soup, can’t hurt. Hopefully, as a result of
my myth busting this week, you’ll not be left out in the cold when it comes to knowing the cold truth about some of the legends
surrounding the common cold. This is Pediatrician Dr. Lewis First with the University of
Vermont Children’s Hospital, reminding you to always
be first with your kids.

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