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Cough & Cold Medication Makers Getting it Right

I like to see concessions like this. Drug companies have conceded that children under 4 should not be given any kinds of cough or cold medications.

Pediatricians have been saying this for a while now.

It’s been pretty clearly shown that these medications don’t do much, if anything, for children that young. Pediatricians would like it banned under age 6, so this is just a start. About 7000 children a year go to the emergency room due to reactions to or misuse of cold medications.

A warning is also to be added that using antihistamines to make a child sleepy is not an appropriate use.

I’ve had the worst time convincing my husband to lay off buying the children cold medications when they get sick. He sees them and forgets everything I’ve told him and had him read about how ineffective they are for children as young as ours. I’m willing to give Tylenol for fevers as appropriate, but overall I just don’t like giving medications.

Instead, I like humidifiers if the breathing is uncomfortable. A cool cloth on the forehead can make a feverish child feel somewhat better too. Even just playing in a lukewarm bath really helps a lot. A friend of mine taught me that tea tree oil can really help with congestion, but even though I have it in the cabinet I keep forgetting it when cold season rolls around.

It really all comes down to using your common sense as a parent. Most colds don’t need a medication to make the child feel better; you can do far better by taking other measures for comfort. Don’t go beyond what the labeling says when you do give medicine, and keep all medications, natural, over the counter and prescription, out of the reach of children.

2 replies on “Cough & Cold Medication Makers Getting it Right”

  1. Ash says:

    I’m a big fan of mentholatum and VapoRub… they’re mentholated rubs that I put on their chest and under their nose… and cholorseptic for their throats… But agreed… sometimes it’s best to let their bodies just fight it off.

  2. I never heard that about tea tree oil — will have to research. Seems like it would be a good idea in humidifiers too since it’s antibacterial. Strong stuff though, dilute dilute! (As Dr. Bronner used to say!)

    Good to hear that corporations are finally getting with the program, though from what I heard some poor children had to suffer for the word to get out. I just don’t use cold medicine — on myself or others. I do use elderberry syrup sometimes. Based on an herbal remedy with some scientific backing, and it’s nice when you want to “feel like your doing something.” So often medications just serve to reassure us when really it’s our bodies that are doing the work and all we can do is support them!

    Thanks for the tips. I want to be prepared before cold season sets in!

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