As you’ve probably heard, this year’s flu season is a particularly bad one, and with lots of people probably sick at home because of it, there’s a good chance many of them are not doing the right things to get themselves healthy.
While you may feel like crap, a bad cold isn’t the same as the flu, so if you really do have the flu there are a lot of things you shouldn’t be doing, and some of them may surprise you.
If you have the flu:
- Skip the cough medicine – No matter how annoying that cough is, over-the-counter medicines really aren’t going to help, because the amount of cough suppressants in the meds aren’t high enough. Plus, don’t mix products that have acetaminophen like Tylenol or Nyquil or Theraflu, because having too much of that can cause liver damage.
- Don’t take antibiotics – Antibiotics aren’t going to do anything for the flu because it’s caused from a virus, and only antiviral meds can help. Antibiotics treat bacterial infections.
- Don’t lie down – Yes you need to rest when you have the flu, but lying down will be harder on your lungs. Although it may be tough, try and rest sitting upright to make it easier on your lungs, plus you’ll feel better and can breathe better.
- Don’t give children aspirin – While you may be tempted to reach for aspirin to help your kid's fever or headache from the flu, kids can actually suffer some serious complications from it. Instead, give them acetaminophen or ibuprofen for reducing fever, but be careful to read labels to make sure you’re not combining meds that you shouldn’t be.
- Don’t drink a hot toddy – You may think a little alcohol will help you sleep, but the truth is it won’t be a good sleep, and can lead to dehydration, and staying hydrated is key to recovering from the flu.
- Don’t take a cold shower – You may think a cold shower or ice bath will help your fever come down, but the truth is it will make it go up. Instead, tepid water is the key, so try to sponge down with lukewarm water.
- Don’t go to work – This seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people probably don’t abide by it. Going to work will put your colleagues at risk, and the CDC says to wait until you’ve been fever free without meds for 24 hours before you return.