Kids' Health Rules You Should Break

Feeling Sick? Take Medicine

The real deal: You want to make your child feel better, but medicine isn't always best. Over-the-counter (OTC) cold remedies, for instance, are widely regarded as useful only for temporary symptom relief. They won't lessen the duration or severity of your child's illness. Also, OTCs that suppress vomiting or diarrhea can interfere with the body's natural way of getting rid of bacteria or a virus, says Donald Schiff, M.D., a professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, in Denver. Many OTCs also carry a risk of side effects, from hyperactivity to drowsiness; the benefit your child receives may not be worth it. Check with your pediatrician.

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