SOURCE: Kaz Inc.

Kaz Inc.

March 04, 2009 13:00 ET

Late, Hard-Hitting Flu Season Leaves Parents Asking: What to Do?

Survey Shows More Education Needed -- MommyDocs Here to Help

SOUTHBOROUGH, MA--(Marketwire - March 4, 2009) - With reports this month confirming a late, hard-hitting cold and flu season, parents enjoying a mild season thus far are not yet in the clear. A recent survey confirms that more education is needed on how to manage cold and flu season properly. The survey, conducted by Kaz Inc., revealed that 70 percent of parents with kids under the age of four still give their children cough and cold medicine when they are sick, despite warning labels that advise otherwise. The MommyDocs, an online duo of board-certified physicians, have come to the rescue with alternative suggestions that are helpful for the entire family:

-- Humidification is key:

Findings from a new study published last month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science indicate that when there is less moisture in the air, the flu virus is more likely to survive and spread. So, using a humidifier may be a smart idea this winter, especially for children and the elderly who are more prone to complications from the flu. In general, humidifiers are a must when cough and congestion strike. They help keep mucus membranes moist, thus helping the body to expel germs more effectively. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using a cool-mist humidifier or vaporizer in a child's room as relief for stuffy noses and chest congestion. Look for bacteria-eliminating features like in the Vicks Germ Free Humidifier, which features a patented UV light chamber that kills up to 99.999% of bacteria, mold and spores in the water.

-- Saline drops vs. spray:

For nasal congestion in babies, consider using nasal saline drops and a bulb syringe to help loosen and clear mucus. Older children can probably tolerate a nasal saline spray. For more tips on remedies for treating cold symptoms, visit

-- Capsules, powders, & potions beware:

Keep in mind that herbal supplements should not be given to children. Vitamins should only be given under the direction of a physician. The FDA doesn't regulate over the counter supplements and because young bodies process drugs differently, kids may be especially vulnerable to side effects.

-- No honey for infants:

Honey should not be given to children under the age of one as it may contain bacterial spores that can cause infant botulism, a rare and serious form of food poisoning. Infant botulism affects a baby's nervous system and can result in death.

-- H2O & you, not babies:

One suggestion for Moms and Dads is to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day as it helps to maintain overall health and keep the body hydrated. Keeping the body hydrated through water consumption is important so that mucus membranes are also, in turn, hydrated and thus able to effectively expel virus particles. Drinking water is important for children as well, but keep in mind that babies under the age of one should not drink water unless advised by a pediatrician.

About The MommyDocs

Dr. Jamie Freishtat is a board-certified Pediatrician and Dr. Rachel Schreiber is board certified in both Allergy/Immunology and Internal Medicine and was recently selected as one of "America's Top Physicians" by the Consumers' Research Council of America. They deliver practical pediatric advice for moms, by moms, via podcasts, articles, tips, blog postings and more on The MommyDocs were named a Finalist for Best New Service of the Year and Website of the Year in the 5th annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business.

Survey Methodology

The Kaz Inc. survey was conducted by in an online survey of 606 parents with children under 12 years old. The survey was conducted from June 12 through June 19, 2008. The margin of error is +/- 4%.

About Kaz

Kaz has been a partner with The Procter & Gamble Company since 1995, bringing Vicks Home Health Care products to parents everywhere. Advanced technology, simple operation, and dependability help to assure customers are helping their families feel better. Today, Vicks Humidifiers and Thermometers are #1 in each of their categories and are available at most retailers. Visit or for more information about these and other quality products for home health, home comfort and insect control.

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