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Coping With Flu: 9 Tips to Ease Symptoms

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Coping with flu again this year? While there's no cure for flu, there are some natural and practical flu remedies you can use to ease flu symptoms. Here are some you can try today. Keep in mind that the FDA and the American Academy of Pediatrics are concerned about the safety and effectiveness of over-the-counter cough and cold medications in children, and manufacturers now have changed their labels to say not to use these products in children under 4.

Tip #1: Stay home and get plenty of rest.

On the first day of flu symptoms, follow the rules of flu etiquette. Call your work or school and tell them you're not coming in for a few days because you're sick -- and very contagious! Then, take advantage of these days of flu and let your body have much-needed rest. Pull out your favorite movies, curl up on the couch, and spend the time watching DVDs while your body battles the virus.

Tip #2: Drink plenty of fluids.

Increase fluids such as water, fruit juices, sports drinks, and broth-based soups (like chicken noodle soup). Fluids help keep your respiratory system hydrated and liquefy thick mucus that can build up to cause infection in the bronchial tubes.

Tip #3: Treat aches and fever so you feel comfortable.

Got fever? Fever is a flu symptom and occurs when your body temperature rises to fight off infection (in this case, the flu virus).

Treat fever and aches with over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen. Ask your doctor which is right for you.

Aspirin should never be given to children and adults younger than 19 years old with symptoms of flu or cold because it is associated with a condition known as Reye's syndrome, a very serious illness that can damage the brain and liver.

Tip #4: Use cough suppressants and expectorants to treat the cough.

Over-the-counter cough remedies are available to suppress cough. There are also over-the-counter expectorants that liquefy thick mucus so it can be coughed up. There is some disagreement among doctors about how well these cough medicines work.

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