But your son or daughter has a cold now and you don’t have time to wait for pediatricians and government officials from the FDA to reach a consensus. What should you do?
Christine Jacobson with Wasatch Health Mart Pharmacy along with information provided by Tanya Reynolds with Quality Health News give parents ideas on what they can do.
YOUR CHILD’S COLD
Cold medicines do not cure colds but merely relieve some of the symptoms associated with them such as runny nose, sore throat and cough. A cold is a virus that must run its course, which may last for up to two weeks.
Many experts now believe that the risks in medicating children may be greater than the benefits. Numerous studies have found that these drugs have no scientific health effect on children. If parents notice their child getting healthier after taking medicine, it is more than likely because colds get better over time.
Antihistamines are sedating and can be dangerous to young children who already have breathing problems and pseudoephedrine (a common decongestant) could be hazardous to children with heart conditions, which may be present , if not diagnosed.
Side effects in cold and flu medications are normal, but they can be particularly serious in children. After reviewing side effect reports from the last 40 years, the FDA found 54 child fatalities from over-the-counter decongestants and 69 deaths connected with antihistamines. Pediatricians point out that it is easy for an infant to take an overdose of medicine. For example, a mother could give the child medicine without telling the father and the father may also treat the child with the same medicine.
Since cold medicines only eliminate symptoms, you might want to try some other remedies that offer temporary relief. It’s always best to consult with your pediatrician when concerned for your child’s health, but most doctors advise that the best way to treat and care for a cold is to drink plenty of fluids and rest.
In addition you may want to try these suggestions from the American Academy of Pediatrics:
Humidifiers/Vaporizers. These help moisten the air and open your child’s stuffy airways. If you’re worried about your child getting burned if the hot water spills, you can buy a cool mist humidifier
Nose drops. Saline drops without medication added can help thin mucus
Nose bulbs. Work best with infants under 6 months old. Because babies can’t blow their own noses yet, the bulb works to clear out mucus.
Liquids. Juice, sports drinks, tea or other clear liquids help prevent dehydration. Milk and formula are not recommended.
Soup. Tried and true remedy that works to ease cold and flu symptoms by acting similarly to over-the-counter medicines
Sweet treats. Popsicles, honey and lollipops can all help temporarily soothe a child’s sore throat. These are beset for children at least a year old.
Be sure to contact your health care provider for your child’s specific needs.
For all your pharmacy needs, find your nearest Health Mart Pharmacy online at www.healthmart.com
Resource: Tanya Reynolds, Quality Health News