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What fluids will help your child when they have a cold or flu?

ANSWER

According to the experts, just about any fluids are good for your sick child. Try some of these:

  • Water
  • Fruit juice. Dilute it with water so your child gets less sugar.
  • If your child is dehydrated, fruit juice doesn’t have the right mix of sugar and salt. Get an oral rehydration solution like Pedialyte instead.
  • Decaffeinated tea. For an older child, warm beverages are soothing and can help break up mucus. If he's older than 1, add some honey to make his sore throat feel better and ease a cough.
  • Milk. Despite what you may have heard, it's fine for kids with colds or flu. It won't cause mucus buildup.

SOURCES:

Lisa M. Asta, MD, spokeswoman, American Academy of Pediatrics; associate clinical professor of pediatrics, University of California San Francisco.

American Academy of Pediatrics.

HealthyChildren.org: "Dehydration."

Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago's Children: "Water Intake for Children Fact Sheet."

Lee, C.   , June 2004. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on May 19, 2019

SOURCES:

Lisa M. Asta, MD, spokeswoman, American Academy of Pediatrics; associate clinical professor of pediatrics, University of California San Francisco.

American Academy of Pediatrics.

HealthyChildren.org: "Dehydration."

Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago's Children: "Water Intake for Children Fact Sheet."

Lee, C.   , June 2004. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on May 19, 2019

NEXT QUESTION:

What should you do if your child has a cold or flu and won't drink fluids?

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    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.