Facts About Cold, Flu, and Medications
Is It the Flu? Know the F.A.C.T.S.
If your child has two or more of these telltale symptoms, call the pediatrician right away -- even if your little one got the flu shot.
F Fever (100?F+)
S Sudden onset
3 Reasons Not to Give Cold Medicines to Your Child Under Age 4
The FDA says OTC cough and cold meds should not be used with kids under 4; the American Academy of Pediatrics has noted that they're even ineffective in those under the age of 6. Still tempted? Consider this.
1. They fail to relieve symptoms. Six clinical trials of over-the-counter drugs showed they were no more effective than a placebo in relieving symptoms.
2. They can make sickness worse. Thousands of kids every year end up in an E.R. with breathing problems, an elevated heart rate, dizziness, seizures, and lethargy from these drugs.
3. Drug-free remedies work. For a cough in a child over age 1, try honey. To ease congestion, use saline drops and nasal suctioning, and run a cool-mist humidifier.
Originally published in the November 2011 issue of Parents magazine.
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