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cold medicine

Posted by on Jan. 21, 2009 at 2:03 PM
  • 4 Replies

what is the deal with kids & cold medicine? I remember not long ago it was said not to give them cold medicine.....but has that changed or what? My son is 3 and weighs 38 lbs he didnt even get a cold last year but he's sneezy & keeps coughing & has a runny nose no fever but he just feels bad. I havent called the Dr yet I just want to know what other moms are doing for their little ones with colds. Are you giving them medicine if so what kind & if not what else?????

by on Jan. 21, 2009 at 2:03 PM
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by on Jan. 21, 2009 at 2:04 PM

my son had a cold and his ped. said to only give him benydrl

by on Jan. 21, 2009 at 2:23 PM

Here's what I found from Mayo Clinic. I hope your little one feels better soon!!


Cold medicines for kids: What's the risk?

Cough and cold medicines aren't recommended for young children. A Mayo Clinic specialist explains why - and offers tips for treating your child's cold.

Jay Hoecker, M.D.

The common cold is a nuisance, but over-the-counter cough and cold medicines can help your child feel better - right? Think again. Cough and cold medicines aren't recommended for young children, and the jury is still out on whether cough and cold medicines are appropriate for older kids. So what's the best way to treat a child's cold? Here's practical advice from Jay Hoecker, M.D., a pediatrics specialist at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.

What's the concern about cough and cold medicines for kids?

Over-the-counter cough and cold medicines won't cure a common cold or make it go away any sooner. In fact, cough and cold medicines haven't been proved effective for children. And there are serious risks to consider. For example, the sedating effects of antihistamines can be dangerous for kids already having trouble breathing. For young children, an accidental overdose of cough or cold medicine could be fatal.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) strongly encourages parents to avoid cough and cold medicines for children younger than age 2. And in October 2008, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association - with the support of the FDA - went a step further. They volunteered to relabel products to indicate they shouldn't be used in children younger than age 4.

What if cough and cold medicines seemed to work for my child in the past?

Chances are, your child's signs and symptoms simply improved on their own - or the sedating effects of the medication made you think that your child was feeling better. Low-grade fevers don't need treatment and may actually help the body fight cold viruses. Research shows that cough and cold medicines for kids are no more effective than a placebo.

Are cough and cold medicines a problem for children older than age 4?

Older children aren't as likely as younger children to experience side effects from cough and cold medicines, but side effects are still possible. Some cough and cold medicines may make kids sleepy, while others may have the opposite effect. Even then, remember that cough and cold medicines can't make a cold go away any sooner.

Experts from the FDA are studying the safety and effectiveness of cough and cold medicines for older children. In the meantime, if you choose to give cough or cold medicines to an older child, carefully follow the label directions.

What about antibiotics?

Colds are caused by viruses, so antibiotics won't help. And the more your child uses antibiotics, the more likely he or she is to get sick with an antibiotic-resistant infection in the future.

Can any medications help treat the common cold?

An over-the-counter pain reliever - such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Motrin, others) - can reduce a fever and ease the pain of a sore throat or headache. Remember, however, low-grade fevers don't need treatment. If you give your child a pain reliever, follow the dosing guidelines carefully.

Don't give ibuprofen to a child younger than age 6 months, and don't give aspirin to anyone age 18 or younger. Aspirin has been associated with Reye's syndrome, a rare but potentially fatal illness.

Also treat herbal or alternative remedies for the common cold with a dose of caution. Few studies have been done on the effect these products may have on children. If you want to give your child an herbal or alternative remedy, consult your child's doctor first.

How can I help my child feel better?

There's no cure for the common cold, but you can help your child feel better while he or she is toughing it out.

  • Offer plenty of fluids. Liquids can help loosen the congestion, and coughing can help clear the mucus from your child's airway. Offer water or juice. Serve chicken soup for dinner.
  • Encourage rest. Consider keeping your child home from school and other activities if he or she has a fever or bad cough.
  • Moisten the air. Run a humidifier in your child's room to help soothe irritated nasal passages. Aim the mist away from your child's bed to keep the bedding from becoming damp. To prevent mold growth, change the water daily and follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning the unit. Steam from a hot shower may help, too.
  • Try saline drops. Saline nose drops can loosen thick nasal mucus and make it easier for your child to breathe. Look for these over-the-counter drops in any pharmacy.
  • Soothe a sore throat. For older children, gargling salt water or sucking on hard candy or cough drops may soothe a sore throat.

When should I call the doctor?

Most colds simply need to run their course. It's important to take your child's signs and symptoms seriously, however. If you have a baby who's younger than age 3 months, call the doctor at the first sign of illness. For newborns, a common cold can quickly develop into croup, pneumonia or another serious illness.

Otherwise, call the doctor if your child:

  • Isn't urinating as often as usual
  • Has a temperature higher than 103 F (39.4 C) for one day
  • Has a temperature higher than 101 F (38.3 C) for more than a week
  • Seems to have ear or sinus pain
  • Has yellow eye discharge
  • Has a cough for longer than one week
  • Has thick, green nasal discharge for longer than two weeks

Seek medical help immediately if your child:

  • Refuses to accept fluids
  • Coughs hard enough to cause vomiting or changes in skin color
  • Coughs up blood-tinged sputum
  • Has difficulty breathing or is bluish around the lips and mouth
by on Jan. 21, 2009 at 5:16 PM

Thank you!

by on Jan. 21, 2009 at 5:21 PM

THank you so much for the info!!

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