Ah, the sounds of the season...cough and cold season that is. I'm seeing a lot of runny noses and hearing raspy coughs right now. Many parents are confused about which cough or cold medication they can give their kids. The Consumer Healthcare Products Association has changed the labels on over the counter cold products. These products now say "do not use in children under 4 years of age". The Food and Drug Administration warns "do not use in children under 2 years". And The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends not using OTC cough and cold medicine in children under 6. Now you know why there is so much confusion! Dr. Karen McClard nows this all too well. "I know people swear by over the counter medicines but research shows they are not very effective in treating cough & cold symptoms in adults. So why would they work in children?" And when it comes to children, the research shows that parents are making mistakes and giving their children the wrong dose which can lead to accidental poisoning. So what can you do? Get back to the basics! Start with your grandmother's advice...plenty of rest, drinks lots of fluids, have a bowl of chicken noodle soup and turn on a vaporizer or humidifier in your child's room at night. Dr. McClard advises "if a cough last more than five to seven days or is accompanied by other symptoms like a fever or rash, you may want to bring your child in to see the pediatrician." Something that does work? Honey! Recent studies have shown that honey can be an effective treatment. Keep in mind it is not safe for children under age 1. This winter, I'm not recommending any cold and cough medicines to my patients. Plenty of fluids, rest and time will have your child feeling better in a few days. I'm Dr. Sue with The Kid's Doctor helping parents take charge.
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