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Kids & Cold Drugs: Questions, Answers

Experts Answer Your Questions About Children's Cough and Cold Medicines

OK, so maybe cold medicines don't relieve cold symptoms. But they help my child sleep. What's wrong with that?

Shannon:
I am discovering that for many parents, the sole reason and the sole goal of using cold medicine was to give their child a sedative. That really concerns me. One, that does nothing to improve the symptoms of cough or shorten duration of illness. And No. 2, it is never a good idea to sedate a child if you don't have to, because sedatives have their own set of safety risks. We pediatricians have our work cut out for us in terms of making sure we do a better job of helping parents treat this really common illness. We must reinforce the idea that the goal of treatment is not to just put the kids out. That is not a good approach.

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