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No Cold Medicines For Preschoolers – Now It’s Under 4 Years Of Age

The latest concession from pharmaceutical giants:

Children under 4 should not be given over-the-counter cough and cold remedies, U.S. drug companies said Tuesday in a concession to pediatricians who doubt the drugs work in kids and worry about their safety.

Responding to federal health officials statement that found that the drugs seem to…not work, the drug makers said they will also add, yet another warning on their labels that will advise parents not to give them antihistamines to make them sleepy.

Uh …OK

I’ve written about the concerns with over-the counter cold medicines being given to children and the hidden risks. First it was don’t give them to children under six. Then it was under two. Now it’s don’t give them to children under 4…does this concern you a bit?

Can we have some clarity here?

The original statement was a reaction to parents accidentally overdosing screaming children by ladling medicine after medicine down their throats. The second because research found that umm…well…studies found that most over the counter medicine doesn’t really work that well in children…not just the under two crowd.

Growing pressure has led to this final announcement that, really, we shouldn’t be giving this stuff to kids. It seems to work because it makes them sleepy. Though, perhaps it does work in some children there are natural choices that might work just as well.

While the FDA and the drug companies sort this out, it might be wiser to stick with grandmother’s recipes:

Milk and honey for sore throats

Cold compresses and cool baths for fever

Homeopathic medicines which, my goodness, can now be found in traditional pharmacies (I like Hylands brand)

Photo credit: Aussiegirl at Flickr Under Creative Commons License


  1. MC there’s an ‘all natural’ company I’m going to request a sample from esp. in light of these new findings…I know Jamie wrote about it for ECP here:

    The ingredients say, “A proprietary blend of European Elder, Common Sorrel, Cowslip, European Vervain and Gentian…been used in Europe for decades, etc. etc.” but then I also see maltitol and alcohol which raise my eyebrows…

    I’m going to have our nutritionist/organic specialist check it out, but here’s the link if you know of a more pharmacological/natural MD type to vet the safety issues for 2 and up, etc. I’m requesting a sample…

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