Magazine article Working Mother

Cold Facts

Magazine article Working Mother

Cold Facts

Article excerpt

Does a runny nose mean your child should stay home from day care or school? Will letting her go outside when her hair is still wet make her sick? Test your knowledge of colds, and get the facts from Michael Posner, MD, a pediatrician in West Springfield, MA.

A child begins Io be contagious as soon as she shows signs oi a cold.

FALSE. A cold is contagious for several days before symptoms even appear, which means it may not be necessary (or practical) to try to separate your child when she or anyone else has the sniffles. That's why there's no reason to keep your child out of school or day care when she's the one who's got a runny nose, as long as she feels well enough to go.

Antibiotics can knock out a cold or flu fast.

FALSE. Colds and flu are caused by viruses, so antibiotics, which treat bacterial infections, have no effect on them. Your doctor may decide to prescribe antibiotics, however, if your child's cold leads to a secondary illness like an ear infection that is bacterial.

Going outside in the cold with wet hair will make her sick.

FALSE. Your child will not catch a cold from going outside with wet hair-nor, for that matter, from failing to wear a scarf or a jacket. …

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