Cough and Cold Medications Right For Your Child?

Cough and Cold Medications Right For Your Child?

by Dr. Rebecca Butler

How you can care for your child’s cough or cold without medicines:

On average, children suffer from six to eight colds every year. Because antibiotics are not effective for illnesses caused by viruses, you might be tempted to give your child over-the-counter cold medicines to help them stop coughing or to clear up a stuffy nose. However, these medicines are not designed for very young children and could have negative effects. Over-the-counter cough and cold medicine is not routinely recommended for children ages 4 years and younger and should only be used under the direction of a physician. For children under 6 years of age, over-the-counter cough and cold medicines may have more risks than benefits, and if you are uncertain whether you should use these medications, talk with your pediatrician.

You may try home remedies such as:

  • Giving your child warm liquids such as tea or broth to loosen up mucus and soothe a sore throat.
  • Use a humidifier to help your child’s throat and nose stay moist.
  • Let your child breathe in steam from a warm shower, which can loosen mucus.
  • ONLY if your child is over 1 year old, give them a spoon full of honey to help combat coughing.
  • Use saline solution, such as nose spray, to help loosen mucus in the nose.
  • Have your child blow their nose frequently or use a suction bulb if your child cannot blow his or her nose.
  • Give your child cold items like ice cream or popsicles to soothe a hurting throat.
  • Remember, your child just needs time to heal. It can take weeks to get over a cold or a cough. Your child’s symptoms should gradually get better during this time.

If your child’s symptoms get worse, you should always call your child’s pediatrician. Children may need to see a medical professional if they have:

  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Trouble Swallowing
  • Asthma
  • Vomiting
  • High fever of over 102 for older children or over 100.4 degrees for infants.

Your child’s pediatrician is always your best resource for medical advice and care.

Dr. Rebecca Butler is Board Certified in Pediatrics by the American Board of Pediatrics and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She is proud to be a resident of Lantana and the owner of Lantana Pediatrics. For more information on Lantana Pediatrics, Dr. Butler and/or Melanie Bitzer, CPNP or to schedule an appointment with one of these providers, call the office at 940.455.7200.


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