5 Common Cold Myths and Why They’re Not True for Kids


Sick boy in bed with teddy bear

Even with huge strides in modern medicine, there are still many cold myths and fever myths that are perpetuated in today’s society. When it comes to kids’ health, these are some of the most common questions that parents have and that often yield mixed answers:

  • Does cold weather make you sick?
  • Does the flu vaccine cause the flu?
  • Are you only contagious if you have a fever?
  • Are colds and flu the same?
  • Is it possible to sweat out a cold?



This article will address each of these questions and the cold myths that surround them. By dispelling the myths, parents can get to the root of their children’s sickness and pursue effective treatment strategies much quicker.

Myth 1: Playing Outside in the Winter Will Make a Child Sick

Parents all over the world emphasize the need to come inside when it’s cold out to avoid getting sick. However, the act of simply playing outside in the winter is not enough to make a child sick. Colds are caused by viruses, not specific temperatures or weather. In fact, kids are more likely to pick up germs that cause cold viruses while indoors. Meanwhile, kids who are active and play outside are more likely to have stronger immune systems that can fight cold germs. Just bundle the kids up with coats, hats, gloves, and scarves to prevent frostbite and chills.

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Myth 2: The Flu Vaccine Causes the Flu

Another one of the prevalent cold myths involves getting the flu from a flu shot, but it has never proven to be true. The flu vaccine contains parts of a flu virus but not the full virus, so it cannot make a child sick on its own. There are also many strains of the flu, and current vaccines cannot protect against each and every one of them. Therefore, it is possible to be protected from certain types of flu after getting a flu shot but still get a different type of flu from someone who is contagious.

Myth 3: Kids Are Only Contagious If They Have a Fever

Fevers aren’t the only symptoms of a cold that are contagious, as coughing, sneezing, and congestion can be spread from one person to another as well. Colds are the most contagious on the second and third days, and colds can be contagious before significant symptoms even present themselves.

Myth 4: There’s No Difference Between a Cold and the Flu

Although the common cold and the flu are both caused by viruses, they’re caused by different viruses. This means that one sickness will not typically lead to the other and that there are significant differences between the two. Flu symptoms are often more severe than cold symptoms and include extreme body aches, fever, and fatigue. Meanwhile, colds are focused more in the head and involve stuffy noses, runny noses, congestion, coughing, and sore throats.

Myth 5: Covering Up with Blankets Can Sweat Out a Cold

One outdated method of cold treatment is to cover a child up with many blankets to “sweat it out.” But unfortunately, blankets and heavy clothing will do very little, if anything, to make a cold go away. Instead it is far better to treat a child with trusted and kid-friendly cold relief remedies, like PediaCare. With medications that target specific symptoms, like cough, congestion, runny nose, and fever, getting little ones back on their feet and loving life is easier than ever before!

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