No Cold or Flu Medicine for Kids Under 4 — Is this enough?

As if last year's warnings about the dangers of giving cold medicine to kids wasn't confusing enough, the drug companies have just released a new warning advising parents not to give cold and flu medicine to children under the age of 4.  The expands from last year's recommendation for kids under 2.  If the FDA had their way – along with the majority of pediatricians – this warning would be extended to children six years of age and even as high as 12.

According to doctors, there is no proof that these medicines actually speed up the recovery process and there is definite evidence of the risks and side effects.  Needless to say the pharmaceutical companies have a vested interest in compromising and increasing the warning to children up to age 4 – this way they can still keep the 5-12 year old set.

But, do we really want to wait for the warning next year if our children currenlty fall in this age group?  Similiar to many other issues in which we hear that something is safe for our children only to find out years later that there were dangerous side effects, it's up to us to rely on our own better judgement and lead the way.

In addition we are being advised to NEVER:

  • Give adult medicine to a child
  • Give two or more medicines with the same ingredients at the same time
  • Give antihistamines to make a child sleepy

If medicines are being used in the house be sure to:

  • Give the exact recommended dose, using the measuring device that comes with the medicine
  • Keep OTC medicines out of sight and out of reach
  • Consult your doctor with questions

Many moms have e-mailed me wondering whether this includes fever reducing and pain reducing medication as well – it does not!  Within the recommended dosages, pediatricians feel that ibuprofens and acetaminophens such as Motrin and Tylenol are safe.

 

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