CORPUS CHRISTI — The dip in temperatures in the Coastal Bend is making some people say “It’s Caldo season.”
And, while doctors said the electrolytes in the sodium heavy recipe can help those feeling under the weather, there’s some other cold and flu season “cures and warnings” that come to mind.
“Wet hair may make you uncomfortable but it won’t necessarily make you sick,” Dr. Eric Baggerman said.
The pediatrician and CEO of Amistad Community Health Center said he’d heard it all.
“Rub Vicks on your chest when you feel stuffy,” Baggerman said.
“Put on a bunch of blankets like two or three on top,” an employee at Mi Casita Mexican restaurant said.
“The colds, the flus, anything that comes from up north through those first northerners,” customer Nora Escochea said. “We weren’t allowed to go outside during those times.”
“ We still do it and the little ones know to get the Vicks,” Longoria said.
For many those are remedies passed down through generations.
“My mother, her mother taught her and so on,” Longoria said.
“Vicks is one that has shown to be helpful, Baggerman said.
He said putting Vicks Vapor Rub on adults chests can help open up airways but a certain chemical can actually thicken mucus in children under two.
He recommended putting Baby Vicks on their feet.
“With socks,” he said.
With bare feet and the cold, Baggerman said that’s a myth.
“For some people, If they step on a cold floor with bare feet, they can actually get a runny nose but it’s not that they’re sick,” Baggerman said. “It’s just a response from their body.”
What about orange juice or vitamin C?
“Vitamin C really hasn’t shown to really have an effect,” Baggerman said. “It’s one thing that’s really pushed.”
He said people should try vitamin D instead.
“Which is another reason we probably get a little more sick in the winter time,” he said. “We don’t have as much direct sunlight. People are possibly inside more.”
What about running the air conditioner when it’s cold outside?
“If we have cold dry air,” Baggerman said. “It changes the mucus in our nasal passages and can make it easier for viruses to enter right that come into contact with it. And on the virus side, the cold dry air like rhinovirus and the flu virus do better in a cold dry environment.”
He said stick with the basics and recommends people cover their sneeze in their arm, wash their hands and wear a mask if they are particularly vulnerable and isolate if they are sick.
“Take advantage of the cooler weather,” Baggerman said. “We don’t get enough of it in my opinion and so don’t let this be a barrier to not let children go outside to play or not do things as a family outside.”