How to Prevent Kids' Colds

Most parents still rely on myths like these to avoid colds

Most parents still rely on myths like these to avoid colds

Carried out by researchers at University of MI, the CS Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health asked a national sample of 1,119 of parents with children age 5 to 12 about which methods they used for cold prevention.

The researchers noted that vitamins and supplements are not regulated the way that drugs are, and that they do not need to be proven to work in order to be sold. According to the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health at the University of MI, more than half of parents have tried these methods with their kids.

These include encouraging frequent hand-washing, teaching youngsters not to put their hands near their mouth or nose, and discouraging them from sharing utensils or drinks with others.

More than 50 percent of parents say they give their kids over-the-counter vitamins and supplements, like vitamin C, despite the lack of evidence that they help boost the immune system.

The good news is that nearly all parents say they do encourage strong personal hygiene practices, which have been proven to help prevent the spread of germs, like washing hands frequently, keeping fingers out of the nose and mouth, not sharing utensils or drinks and staying clear of others who are already sick. The results showed that the majority of parents use strategies with little to no scientific evidence.

Doctors said colds are the result of viruses spreading most frequently from person to person. They said the best way to prevent a cold is to practice good hygiene, which most of the poll parents say they do.

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Freed said, "The folklore strategies, have likely been passed down from generation to generation and started before people knew that germs were actually the cause of illnesses like colds".

A further 87 percent of parents correctly told their children to avoid sick individuals.

According to the researchers, school kids catch three to six colds a year on average, and some can last as long as two weeks. For example, about 52 percent told their children not to go outside with wet hair, and 48 percent thought it was beneficial to encourage their child to stay indoors during cold season.

Freed said, "When children are sick with a cold, it affects the whole family. All parents want to keep families as healthy as possible".

"Parents should be skeptical of any over the counter product that claims to prevent colds because none have been proven to do so", stressed Freed.

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