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.