How I Choose Kids’ Medications

2 years, 3 months.

Dear Jack,

It’s that time of year again, when I as a your parent have this constant worry in the back of my mind that your daycare is about to call me to say I need to come pick you up because you have a fever.

Mommy and I both save our own sick days from work for the days you will have a fever and one of us will need to stay home with you.

On top of wanting to know I can help restore you back to health, I also want to be able to have confidence that the medicine I give you is as natural and healthy as possible.

You know how passionate I am about our family not consuming products that contain red food dye. I’ve mentioned several times now that the popular food dye Red 40 is made from petroleum  while Crimson Lake is derived from the powdered and boiled bodies of insects including the cochineal scale and the Polish cochineal.

In fact, back when you were only 13 months old, I wrote “Why This Dad Despises Red 40 And Crimson Lake Food Dyes” here on The Dadabase.

As a parent blogger, I have a solid track record of denouncing illegitimate food and medicine ingredients in my writings. One of my goals is to actually help make it taboo for any food or medicine companies to have Red Lake or Red 40 as one of their ingredients.

I want every parent to understand where those dyes come from; they’re simply not fit for human consumption.

Companies can legally be vague when it comes to listing their ingredients. That’s why, and I’ve said this before, if I see “artificial flavor” or “natural flavor” on the ingredients list, I won’t buy it; because any ingredients generically listed as “artificial” or “natural” could be… anything.

Because after all, anything is definitely “natural” and/or “artificial.” That’s always a red flag for me. (Pun intended.)

In addition to my skepticism of artificial colors and flavors in regards to what I allow you to consume, I have to be honest, my conscience isn’t clear when it comes to giving you medicine with alcohol, either.

It goes without saying that as your parent, I have incredibly high standards when it comes to what food and medicine I let you consume. I wish I could say there are several brands of medicine that gain my approval, and therefore, that I have actually given you. Unfortunately, there are very few.

As far as a brand that is very forth-coming about being both dye-free and alcohol-free for all their products, Little Remedies is the only one I’ve come across so far.

Mommy and I actually used their Gripe Water (to relieve discomfort from hiccups and gas) when you were an infant. Sure enough, it was the very first medicine we ever gave you.

Even if as an “extreme ingredients-aware parent,” I only represent a minority of the market, I’m just glad to know there are options I can give you.

I will never stop being mindful of the ingredients that go into your medicine, because medicine that has unnatural and questionable ingredients in it isn’t really medicine, if you ask me.



P.S. I invite any other readers of this letter to share your additional pointers, personal stories and struggles regarding the avoidance of artificial colors, artificial flavors, and alcohol in children’s medicine; feel free to leave a comment.

This post is sponsored by Little Remedies— makers of children’s medication without artificial colors, artificial flavors, or alcohol.  

Photo: Child receiving medication, via Shutterstock.

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  1. by littleduckies

    On March 9, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Well, I sure am glad that we keep kosher! If it’s kosher, the number of places stuff can come from is pretty limited: fruits and vegetables, a highly limited number of domestic animals (sheep, goat, cows, ducks, chickens, turkeys, some fish – all of which we eat anyway). No insects, no animal glands. It’s not as perfect as what you’re doing, but it does take half the work out of it.

    And, in Israel, you can find kosher medications.

  2. by Gricelda

    On March 21, 2013 at 5:00 am

    Hi I dont find where to subscribe to receive your next post or newsletter per Email…

    Excuse my english, I’m French^^