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The Informed Parent

Myth Busting: Does Milk Make Mucus?

by John H. Samson, M.D., F.A.A.P.
Published on Jan. 01, 2000

"Milk makes mucus" has long been the battle cry of grandmothers through recorded history. Young mothers have been admonished in no uncertain terms that milk must be avoided when the offspring has a cold, lest he drown in his own secretions. At a time when the little one needs the comfort of his warm, delicious elixir, milk is withheld. This only adds to the discomfort of the tykes little plight. Over years of observing thousands of infants with upper respiratory tract infections, and reviewing the medical literature, there is no documentation of such a phenomena. With this in mind, where did it come from? There are enough children with milk allergies that the observation of these children would lead one to generalize that children do this overall. Therefore, if your child is not allergic to dairy products, let him have his milk when he has a cold.

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