Throat lozenges: Yes
Good for soothing sore throats in kids seven or older (they’re a choking risk for younger ones).
Kids’ saline nasal spray: Yes
It’s not fun, but it helps. Spray and then use a snot sucker.
Probiotics may help cut short stomach flu-related diarrhea.
Electrolyte drink: No
Diluted apple juice actually does a better job of keeping sick kids hydrated than paediatric electrolyte solutions.
Chest rub: Yes
It really does help to ease congestion and decrease coughing to let them get to sleep.
Brat diet (post-stomach flu diet: bananas, rice, applesauce, toast): No
Zero evidence it works—kids can eat whatever they want. Offer small amounts of food and drink often, and avoid anything that seems to worsen symptoms.
A version of this article appeared in our October 2016 issue with the headline, “Do they work?” p. 73.
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