Colds and flu are very common illnesses…
If you have a cold, you will probably feel tired, have a runny nose and sore throat, and sneeze a lot.
If you have the flu, you will probably have a fever, body aches, a headache, a cough, and a sore throat.
There is no cure for colds or flu.
There is no medicine that will make the cold or flu go away when you are sick.
But you can make yourself feel better!
Home remedies and over-the-counter medicines can make you feel better while you are sick.
Make time for extra rest and sleep.
Drink lots of liquids—for example, juice, tea, or soup.
Here are some things you can do.
To relieve coughing:
- Drink a lot of fluids.
- Ask a doctor or nurse about taking an over-the-counter cough medicine.
To relieve a sore throat, if you are over age 6 and not at risk of choking:
- Gargle with warm salt water.
- Suck on ice chips, medicated lozenges, or sugar-free hard candies.
Here are more things that you can do.
To relieve aches and fevers:
- Ask a doctor or nurse about taking an over-the-counter pain reliever.
To relieve runny or stuffy noses:
- Breathe warm, moist air from a hot bath, hot shower, or bowl filled with hot water.
- Ask a doctor or nurse about taking an over-the-counter medicine.
A Safety Note
Before taking any new over-the-counter medications talk to your doctor or nurse to make sure they are safe for you.
If the doctor or nurse says that a medication is safe,
- Be sure to take the correct amount.
- Take it only as often as the doctor or nurse says is allowed.