Cold Medicine Not For Kids

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I don’t know a whole lot about what’s going on in the world these days. I’m pretty busy in my cave. But, I did notice this health alert recently and thought I would pass it on, especially since Walgreens and CVS have had such good deals on Dimetapp and Robitussin. I’m sure many of you stocked up like I’ve been telling you to. I’ve got six boxes in my cupboard right now. Glad it was free!

Now it seems that we need to be a little more cautious in how we administer those over-the-counter meds. Last winter the FDA issued an advisory that OTC cold medicine should NOT be given to children 2 and under. The efficacy of such meds was put into question, as well as harmful side effects brought to light. Now, they’ve raised the bar on the pharmaceutical companies. Read this news report on raising the age level to 4. Stay tuned as the FDA is currently investigating whether or not this warning should be issued to all children 12 and under.

Well, what do you do if you can’t give your little ones medicine “to make it all better?” Do what our grandmothers did:

1. Boost fluid intake, including the Amazing Cure-All, Chicken Broth.
2. Encourage rest. Put them to bed or on the couch with cozy blankets, a good book, and Mama.

Additionally, you can give your little one the appropriate dose of Tylenol as well as keep a vaporizer going.

And as preventive medicine, encourage hand washing now that cold and flu season are approaching.

(Remember, I am not a doctor. As always, seek professional medical advice.)

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  1. This is good info. And I’m so pleased you presented it in a straight-forward, non-alarmist kind of a way. : ) I talked to our ped about this a couple months ago and we were given the thumbs-up for plain cough suppressant for our gigantic 3-yr old and an “absolutely not” for our petite 2-yr old. And I’m fine with that. I’m just glad I took the time to ask (and took the bottle with me too!)

  2. We stopped using cold medicines for our son after the first advisory came out. Now when the colds attack we just use nasal saline and an aspirator as well as a humidifier. These help a lot, in addition to the extra rest and lots of fluids that you mentioned.

    Have you heard of giving a spoonful of buckwheat honey in place of cough syrup? It’s supposed to be effective. We have tried it a couple of times and it did seem to help.

  3. My Dr. and I discussed this and she said the warning is more for parents that don’t understand that you can’t mix meds and it’s causing an overdose in their kids. With all of the multi-symptom stuff out there and all of the allergy meds kids are already on, if you give them a cold medicine on top of it, you are overdosing them without even realizing it. Some cold medicines also already have tylenol in them and parents don’t realize it and give their kids tylenol on top of it. If we just went back to one medicine for each symptom, there wouldn’t be as many problems. I just can’t imagine me not taking anything when I have a cold, so why would I put my kids through that if I don’t have to? Just be careful.