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New Cold Medicine Guidelines

Cold season is upon us! Perhaps this is why the FDA has just released new guidelines for cold medicine usage. New guidelines suggest that parents should not give cold medicine to their children who are under 4 years of age.

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and drug companies have been discussing the safety of over the counter cough and cold medicines for a while now. In January, the FDA said that parents should not dose their children who were under a year with cough and cold medicine. Pediatricians also voiced concerns about the medicines and the possible side effects from those medicines. Interestingly enough, a poll I saw showed that most parents have no issues with the medications!

Experts claim that the issues that are now being raised are very valid and that the over the counter medicines were actually never tested for use in children and that their safety for young children was never established. They also site the fact that it is easy for parents to over dose their children on medications.

Things have certainly changed since I had my first child 15 years ago! I did use infant cold medicine for her, as I did with 3 of her 4 younger siblings. In all those years, I never had an issue. I didn’t know of anyone who did have an issue. Yes, I did hear of parents who knowingly gave their children the medicines when they weren’t sick in order to get them to sleep, but that happened rarely.

My son is now 1 1/2 years old. I remember when the infant medicines were pulled off the shelves due to safety concerns. My son happened to have a cold at the time, and I was confused and slightly worried. I researched and found other ways to control his cold symptoms besides the medicine that was no longer available.

What is the best way to deal with colds and coughs? Push the fluids and use a warm mist vaporizer to increase the humidity in your home. Plenty of rest will also help!

As I write this, my son is sick with a dreaded cold and cough combination. We’ll make it though this episode–just a little bit differently than we managed with his older siblings.

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