Doctors typically recommend serving up plenty of fluids when kids are sick with a cold. Part of the reason, the AAP points out, is that when children's noses are stuffy, they breathe through their mouths, causing their mouth and their throat to get dry, which is uncomfortable and speeds dehydration. The American Lung Association
(ALA) suggests "Eight glasses of water and/or juice per day. . . . This will help keep the lining of the nose and throat from drying out, so that mucus remains moist and easy to clear from the nose." A cool-mist humidifier placed in the child's room will also help keep kids' sinuses moist.
Old standbys like orange juice and chicken soup are good choices for hydration. Although there are conflicting reports as to the effectiveness of Vitamin C in shortening the duration or lessening the effects of a cold, a tall glass of OJ can't hurt. Chicken soup--Grandma's favorite remedy--has also been studied and, as the Mayo Clinic
reports, "It does seem to help relieve cold and flu symptoms in two ways. First, it acts as an anti-inflammatory by inhibiting the movement of neutrophils--immune system cells that participate in the body's inflammatory response. Second, it temporarily speeds up the movement of mucus through the nose, helping relieve congestion and limiting the amount of time viruses are in contact with the nose lining."
If your child is fed up with fluids, try popsicles, which help soothe sore throats.