Winter Worries: Top Health Myths Busted

Our partners at The Urgency Room asked their Medical Director, Dr. Carolyn McClain, to answer questions that parents commonly ask regarding their children's health. Read on to learn what common healthcare myths are busted and what to actually pay attention to when it comes to your child's symptoms.

As the cool weather settles in, I thought it would be a good time to bust some more of those health myths that I hear so often from parents. You can see my first round of answers in my last article here.

Here are some more of the questions I often get asked at The Urgency Room to help you manage the season with far less stress.

Will my children get the flu when they get a flu shot? 

Top Health Myths Busted | Twin Cities Mom Collective

No. The vaccine does stimulate your child’s immune system and the immune response can cause mild symptoms that are associated with flu, such as body aches and a low-grade fever. These symptoms are typically much more mild than what people experience from a true case of influenza.

Is an ear infection contagious? 

Top Health Myths Busted | Twin Cities Mom Collective

Ear infections themselves are not contagious. However, ear infections are often complications from colds or other infections. Cold viruses can easily spread from child to child.

Does green mucus mean my child has a sinus infection?

Top Health Myths Busted | Twin Cities Mom Collective

No. The color of your child’s mucus—whether it’s green or yellow—will not tell you whether it’s a bacterial or viral infection. Mucus production is a symptom of inflammation, which can have many causes, including an illness or allergies.

Does being cold give you a cold?

I know it seems like we all get sicker in the winter, but exposure to cold weather does not cause infections. Cold and flu season occurs during the winter because the viruses that cause these illnesses spread more easily in cold weather. And people tend to stay inside so they’re closer together. This makes it easier for the illnesses to spread.


The Urgency Room (UR) is a state-of-the art medical facility specializing in the treatment of acute injuries and illnesses in adults, children, and infants. Staffed with board-certified emergency physicians, the UR is prepared to handle it all. If you need immediate medical attention and don’t need an ambulance come to The Urgency Room.

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