skip to main content



There are plenty of things you can do to help get on with your life, even when you’re experiencing cold and flu symptoms. Here are some helpful treatment tips to help you make it through cold and flu season.

Sore Throat Pain

Humidify the Air Indoors

Humidifiers, such as Vicks® humidifiers, increase moisture in the air, which helps provide overall comfort and can help clear secretions, soothe airways, and reduce sore throat pain. Moist air also can assist in minimizing the feeling of having a dry, scratchy throat and can aid cilia movement, which helps the immune system fight infection, especially during cold and flu season.

Gargle with Salt

A saltwater gargle – ¼ to ½ teaspoon (1.2 milliliters to 2.5 milliliters) salt dissolved in an 8-ounce (237 milliliters) glass of warm water – can help temporarily relieve a sore or scratchy throat1.


Runny Nose/Sneezing

There’s No Need to Over-clean

When kids are sniffling due to cold or allergy symptoms, it’s smart to keep common areas clean. Rhinoviruses (cold germs) can only survive a maximum of three hours on inanimate objects and human skin.1 So, while cleaning often is important, over-cleaning might not help you avoid getting a cold or flu.

1 -

Head Congestion

Spice It Up to Unclog Your Nose

Bring on the cayenne! Eating spicy foods can make your nose run. A runny nose might be beneficial because it helps break up congestion and remove irritants.

Elevate Your Head to Ease Congestion

Slightly elevate your head by using additional pillows to ease head congestion while you sleep. The increased angle will help drain your head and relieve sinus pressure.

Learn to Love Shower Steam

Sometimes the best way to care for a stuffed-up head for you or your child is to simply run a hot bath or shower and let steam fill the room. The warm vapors could loosen mucus, help decongest the head, and might even help you breathe easier.


Fight Fever with Fluids

When you’re fighting a fever, try drinking at least 2 to 3 additional ounces of fluid every hour. Water or non-carbonated sports drinks work best. And remember, even if you’re not sweating, you still can get dehydrated, which might weaken your immune system and lead to a prolonged fever.

Feed a Fever

Your body needs food to fuel your immune system when it’s fighting off a flu virus. So if you have a fever, try to eat slightly more to stay on the road to recovery.

Exercise with a Cold, but Not the Flu

The National Institutes of Health in the United States has said that, for the most part, it’s OK to exercise even if you have a cold. The simple act of sweating helps expel harmful germs. Cold medicines might help keep your coughing and other cold symptoms at bay while you’re working out, but don’t push yourself too hard, especially if you have a fever.*
* You should consult with your doctor or medical professional before exercising.

Aches and Pains

Use the Right Pain Reliever

There are two primary over-the-counter pain relievers on the market today—nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and acetaminophen. NSAIDs, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, relieve pain by reducing inflammation, making them well-suited for muscle aches, while acetaminophen (contained in DayQuil and NyQuil) reduces fevers and blocks pain signals which is ideal for general headaches.

General Cold Care

Eat for Relief

Warm, flavourful food can help relieve cough and sore-throat symptoms by stimulating salivation and secretions to help soothe and lubricate the throat.1

1 -

Practice Proper Thermometer Care

Cleaning a glass thermometer with hot or even just warm water can cause an inaccurate reading. It’s always best to use cool water and the appropriate cleaner.

Comfort yourself with Chicken Noodle Soup

When you have a cold or flu, a study conducted by the American College of Chest Physicians® suggests that chicken soup can help you feel better.1

1Sanu, A, Eccles, R. The effects of a hot drink on nasal air flow and symptoms of common cold and flu. Rhinology, December 2008; 46(4): 271-5.Dec 2008.

Decrease Stress

Elevated levels of stress reduce the number of T cells in your body. You need T cells to keep your immune system strong. So if you’re feeling under the weather, take it easy. Relax and breathe. Doctor’s orders! 1

Know the Difference Between a Cold and Flu

A cold generally comes on slowly and starts with a sore throat pain and sneezing. The flu comes on quickly, and causes muscle soreness, fever, chills, and fatigue. Cold and flu medicine can help alleviate some of these symptoms. Just make sure you find the right cold and flu remedy for you.