De-bunking Myths About the Common Cold

We all have our own special -- and sometimes wacky -- tricks to keep the germs at bay, but do they really work? Away We Grow host Diane Mizota chats with pediatrician Nikki Nourmand, who de-bunks several myths about the common cold.

Myth: If you take mega doses of vitamin C and drink lots of orange juice, you can keep a cold at bay.

Not so, says Nourmand. Rest and fluids are essential to recouping from a cold. But high doses of vitamin C are "kind of a big waste of money" because it doesn't provide a huge boost to the immune system.

Related: The scoop on children's vitamins

Myth: Chicken soup will speed your recovery.

Says Nourmand: "So, I don't know if chicken soup will help you get better faster, but it's excellent for symptomatic care." You can count on the the broth to soothe a sore throat and make you feel cozy.

Myth: You shouldn't let your kids drink milk when they have a cold because it causes mucus.

You don't have to avoid dairy when you're sick with a cold, says Nourmand. "It gives you the sensation that you're producing more mucus, but you're not."

Myth: If your kids go to sleep with wet hair, or sleep with an open window, they will catch a cold.

It's uncomfortable to go to sleep with wet hair and your kids may be chilly if the window's open. But you don't catch a cold from having wet hair. "You catch a cold from a virus," says Nourmand.

Myth: You can get the flu from a flu shot.

"So the truth is you cannot get the flu from the flu vaccine," clarifies Nourmand. "When you get the injection, it's a killed virus. So there's no way you can actually get the influenza virus from either the injection or the nasal spray." However, even though you get the vaccine, don't think you're 100 percent protected from the flu. "Vaccines are not 100 percent effective and the flu vaccine is somewhere between 50 and 70 percent effective. So I just really want to make a point of...you have to take care of yourself, too.

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