Health Update: How to Soothe Kids' Colds Without Meds

What about cold and cough medicines for kids older than 4?

The FDA is still evaluating whether these medicines are safe for children under 11. Though older kids may experience fewer side effects, some experts feel it's still not worth the risk, given the lack of evidence that they actually help improve symptoms. "I have a 6-year-old with a cold and was about to give him medicine yesterday, when I decided not to," says Dr. Shu. "How awful would I feel if he did have a reaction?" Your best bet: Waiting it out and trying natural remedies like saline drops, plenty of fluids -- including feeding chicken soup -- and a humidifier at night. If you want to try medicine, pay careful attention to the drug label to avoid side effects or potential overdose.

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