Feeling under the weather? Unfortunately, the common cold is an all-too-common part of life, often taking us out of school or out of work for days at a time. While there’s no way to avoid catching a cold, there are a few sick day essentials that will help you feel better and have you back on your feet faster.
Cold Remedies that Work
Staying hydrated – fluids are the most important component of any cold recovery. Clear liquids like water, sprite, or soup broths can help with congestion and prevent against dehydration.
Bed Rest – take naps, it will help your body heal! Now is the perfect time to turn on a movie or binge that show you’ve been meaning to watch while on bed rest. Take it easy and relax.
Soothing a sore throat – there are a few trusted options when it comes to helping a sore throat. A warm salt-water gargle might not taste good, but the salt will help relieve the pain. Ice, cough drops, or a warm cup of soup can also help with the pain of a sore, scratchy throat.
Over-the-counter pain relievers – while these medications will not shorten your sickness, they will work to give you some pain relief. OTC cough medicines can also work to lessen the pain of a congested chest.
Tips for Treating Children
Because of their weaker immune systems, there are a few special tips suggested when treating sick children:
Electrolytes – dehydration can affect children more severely than adults, so drinking liquids with key electrolytes like potassium and sodium can be more beneficial than water or Sprite. Try drinks like Pedialyte or Gatorade for an added electrolyte boost.
Screen time – time in front of the TV or phone screen can help your child rest and relax, so give them a little extra screen time on sick days.
No OTC medication for young children – over-the-counter cold and cough medicine often come with serious side effects that young bodies are not equipped to handle, so check with your doctor before you administer these medications.
The most important thing to remember when trying to treat any common cold, virus, or ailment with flu-like symptoms is that antibiotics will not work. These medicines attack bacteria, not the organisms that cause a cold, and attempting to treat a virus with antibiotics won’t help you get better faster.
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