FDA: No Cold, Cough Medicines for Babies
FDA Rules That Over-the-Counter Cough and Cold Medicines Shouldn't Be Given to Kids Younger Than 2
WebMD News Archive
Tips for Parents of Older Kids continued...
Mathis provided the
following tips for parents who choose to give over-the-counter cough and
cold medicines to children aged 2-11:
- Always remember that these
medications do not cure the cold. They don't shorten the time that your child
has a cold, and they're only meant to help a child's symptoms.
- Look at the active ingredients in
the Drug Facts label. This will help you understand what active ingredients are
in the medication and what symptoms each active ingredient is intended to
treat. Cough and cold medications often have more than one active
- Be very careful in giving more
than one over-the-counter cough and cold medication to your child. Remember
that many over-the-counter cough and cold products have multiple medications in
them. If you use two medications that have similar active ingredients, a child
could get too much of the ingredient, which could be harmful.
- Make sure to carefully follow the
directions in the Drug Facts part of the label. These directions tell you how
much medicine to give and how often to give it.
- Only use the measuring device --
spoon, dropper, or cup -- that comes with the medication. Common household
spoons come in different sizes and are not meant for measuring medicines. If
you use these, you may not be giving the right dose.
- If you have the opportunity to
choose cough and cold medications with a childproof safety cap, you should do
so, and store these medications out of the reach of children.
"Most importantly," Mathis
says, "call your physician, pharmacist, or other health care professional
if you have any questions about using these medications in children 2 years of
age and older."