SOURCE: American Academy of Pediatrics, news release, Dec. 30, 2015
TUESDAY, Jan. 5, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Instead of turning to over-the-counter cough and cold remedies, parents should consider treating their children with home remedies, says a leading group of U.S. pediatricians.
Like all medications, even cold and could remedies available without a prescription can cause serious side effects in young children, the American Academy of Pediatrics cautions.
Because of the risks, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2008 recommended that children younger than 4 years old never be treated with over-the-counter cough and cold medicines.
Children between 4 and 6 years old should only take these remedies under the direction of their doctor, the academy said in a news release. But children older than 6 can safely take over-the-counter drugs if the dosage instructions on the package are followed correctly.
There are safer, more convenient and less costly ways to provide sick kids with some relief from such symptoms as a stuffy nose and coughing, the academy advised. Some of its suggestions include:
Kids with coughs or colds may not always need treatment, the academy noted. If children aren't bothered by their symptoms and continue to play and sleep normally, over-the-counter or home remedies aren't necessary. These treatments are only helpful if illness is making children very uncomfortable and preventing them from sleeping.
Parents should also remember that fevers help the body fight viruses and should only be treated if they reach 102 degrees Fahrenheit or higher and the child is uncomfortable. High fevers and pain may be treated with acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), the academy says.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration provides more tips on the safe use of cough and cold remedies.