Q: I’m worried about the upcoming cold and flu season: Are there any vitamins, such as vitamin C, that I can give my five-year-old to reduce her chances of getting sick?
A: Unfortunately, extra vitamins not only don’t help, but are quickly urinated away. Moreover, big doses of vitamin C or Cold-FX are not recommended for kids. Getting a few colds is almost inevitable, especially for school-aged children. Frequent hand cleansing and coughing or sneezing into one’s arm help, but a five-year-old may forget these rules sometimes. Still, don’t despair. Although a cold can send your child to bed for a few days, her immune system is set up to prevent the infection from getting serious. If you find your child getting worse after the first few days, getting listless or having a high fever (over 38.5ºC), consult your doctor. A low-salt version of grandma’s chicken soup works as well as anything. For flu, a much more serious illness, we are fortunate to have a seasonal flu vaccine that doctors recommend for children over six months of age: Talk to your daughter’s doctor about getting her vaccinated.