Are cold meds dangerous for very young kids?
Reader Question: I read that experts are recommending that all multi-symptom cold medicines for children be taken off the shelves. Why?
On Call Response: Many manufacturers have begun voluntarily pulling their infant formulas off the shelves. In several cases, young children (under age 2) have been hospitalized for severe side effects related to nasal decongestants, antihistamines, cough suppressants and expectorants; some infants have even died as a result of taking these medications. An advisory board for the FDA is holding a special meeting later this month to take a closer look at this issue.
In the meantime, parents should be cautious. If your child has a cold, try non-drug alternatives first (like a baby aspirator suction bulb to help clear nasal secretions, nasal saline drops and a cool mist humidifier). If you're going to give your child cold medicine, avoid ones that contain pseudoephedrine, read labels carefully and stick to one medication at a time to avoid accidentally double- or triple-dosing your child by using several combination therapies.
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Video: Kids and Cold Medicine
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