CelebrityBabyScoop Talks to The Doctors’ Jim Sears About Keeping Your Kids Healthy

Dr. Jim Sears is an Emmy-nominated co-host of the award-winning talk show The Doctors. Dr. Sears has co-authored several books, including The Healthiest Kid in the Neighborhood, Father’s First Steps — 25 Things Every New Father Should Know, The Premature Baby Book, The Baby Sleep Book and best seller, The Baby Book.

The father-of-two opens up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about some of the most common myths of how you can catch a cold or flu, healthy food choices to help boost your immunity, and how to safeguard you and your family during the cold and flu season.

CBS: What are some of the most common myths about how you catch a cold or flu and the best ways to treat?

DS: “Probably the biggest one is if you go outside when its cold, especially if you are wet. A lot of people [say], ‘If you go outside before you dry your hair’ you can get sick. In reality it does not increase your chances of catching a cold or catching the flu. Actually, they did a study a few years back, it was kind of cruel, but they took a group of people and exposed them to a cold virus and they took half of them and took them outside on a cold winter day and hosed them down and got them all wet. And then tried to see if there’s a difference on how many people got those colds, and there wasn’t. So the clothes your wearing and the temperature outside really have nothing to do with it.

What’s more important is if that virus gets into your body. It can get onto your hands and you still are okay unless it gets into your body and that usually happens by going through your eyes or your nose. So if the virus gets on your hands, because maybe you shook somebody’s hand who has a cold and suddenly you rub your eyes or you’re rubbing your nose now you’ve got the virus inside of you.

So one of the good rules of wintertime is keep your hands away from your face. That’s probably one of biggest ways to prevent colds and flus. Also washing your hands. If you know you’ve touched stuff that could have a virus on it, wash your hands with warm water and soap, scrubbing for 20 seconds that’s a great way to keep yourself from catching them.

One of the big things is people that are sick they are the ones who should take the precautions. Don’t go to school, don’t go to work if you are sick because all you’re going to do is give it to everybody else.

Another myth we talked about on our show: There’s a saying feed a cold, starve a fever. It comes from a long time ago. And that really isn’t true. You never really want to starve yourself if you’ve got fever or a cold. You want to stay hydrated. Eat good wholesome foods. So usually when your body is sick, your body will crave something that’s good for it. I know when I have the flu or something, I always crave lentil soup for some reason. Good old fashion chicken soup or something that’s good for you is the best thing to do when you’re sick, whether it’s a cold or fever. There’s no more feeding a cold and starving a fever.”

CBS: What are some healthy food choices to keep children feeling well during flu season?

DS: “Things that boost your immune system. Fruits and vegetables, avacado and fish. They are good sources of omega 3 oils, which are really good for you. Essential fatty acids help boost your immune system.

[And] avoiding sugar. A lot of people don’t realize this, but if you overdo it on sugar, it actually suppresses your immune system. The white blood cells that help fight infection – they get sluggish after a dose of sugar. And that effect lasts about six hours. So if my kids ever ask for something sugary I joke around with them a little bit, I say, ‘Hey, is this a good time to be suppressing your immune system?’ Of course, the answer is always ‘no.’ And, that’s the answer to your question, in terms of if they get the junk food. Oranges, and things like that are good.

For more tips on how to keep your kids healthy, see the rest of the interview here.

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