Kids' Cough Medications
Coughing actually can be good for kids: It helps loosen and clear phlegm from the respiratory tract. So before you give your child an over-the-counter medication, check out this info from Parents.
Does it work? If your child's cough is keeping her up at night, a suppressant which inhibits the cough reflex in the throat and windpipes may help her sleep. Always ask your pediatrician before giving it to your child.
What you must know: Inhibiting a cough especially a mucousy, lower-respiratory one can actually exacerbate or prolong an illness. In addition, suppressants can cause drowsiness or overexcitement in some children.
Does it work? Not really. Studies have found that these productswhich claim to thin mucus so it can be coughed up more easily aren't really helpful.
What you must know: Many doctors recommend giving water instead.
Multi-Symptom Cold Reliever
Does it work? Yes and no. While it can help a child who is suffering from various symptoms (such as a cough, fever and sore throat) feel better, many doctors warn against giving children formulas that contain so many drugs, because there's a danger of overdosing if you combine them with another remedy, such as acetaminophen.
What you must know: They can cause side effects ranging from sleeplessness (common with antihistamines) to irritability (typical of decongestants) and hyperactivity.
Do they work? Yes. They increase saliva production, which can soothe your child's throat and loosen his cough.
What you must know: Don't give them to children under age 4. Like hard candy, lozenges pose a choking hazard.
Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen
Do they work? Yes. Both lower fever and control pain; ibuprofen lasts longer.
What you must know: Ibuprofen can cause stomachaches or vomiting; it shouldn't be given to children under 6 months of age without a doctor's OK. In addition, check the ingredients of any other medications you give your child to make sure they don't also contain acetaminophen or ibuprofen.