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Entries in fever myths (2)

Friday
Feb072014

FYI: Milk, It Does a Body Good (even when sick)

Like most doctors, I spend a lot of time teaching parents how to help their kids feel better while they are sick.  I run through the list of things that may be helpful, depending on the age of your child and whatever is ailing them.  Tylenol and Motrin for fever or aches and pains, honey for cough, Vick's vapor rub  and bulb suctioning (especially my beloved Nose Frida) for nasal congestion and on and on.   I often get a surprised smile from a child when I recommend ice cream or a milkshake to soothe a sore throat - especially when I emphatically say "Ice cream for this kiddo.  Doctors orders!"  But parents sometimes are suprised to hear me encourage dairy while their child is sick.  

Turns out, there is a common misbelief that dairy products (milk especially) should not be given to kids when they have a cold or a fever.  Some people are worried that the milk increases mucus or phlegm production. Others worry that milk will turn sour or cause an stomachache for someone who has a fever.

But let's set the record straight!  There is no scientific or biologic reason to avoid milk when you are sick with a fever or a respiratory illness such as a cold. (Though gastrointestinal or stomach bugs are a slightly different story as we do recommend avoiding milk immediately after vomiting of in some cases of chronic diarrhea).

A great study was published on this subject in the 1990s.  Researchers

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Tuesday
Jan292013

FYI: Debunking fever myths

Uh oh, fever strikes. Often in the late afternoon or evening after the doctor’s office has closed. What to do? Depending on who you ask, you may get many different opinions about how to manage your child’s fever. There are so many myths out there about fevers – here’s hoping I can debunk some of those myths and give you some helpful information that you can use in the middle of the night! 

First, what IS a fever? A fever is the body’s natural response to infection. When the body detects a virus (such as the common cold or flu) or bacteria (such as strep throat or ear infection), it’s natural response is to “turn up the thermostat” in the body to help fight that infection. Therefore, a fever is not bad – it signals that your body’s immune system is working to fight the infection. In children, a true fever is a measured temperature greater than 100.4 °F. Although temperatures of 99-100 may seem warmer than normal, kids’ temperatures vary throughout the day, and this can just be a normal variation.

 

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