For several years there has been a debate about the use of medicines for the cold or the flu in children. Although it was thought that they could help cope with the symptoms, several alarms have been lit regarding the possible side effects of cold medicine. What is the truth about this topic and what should you keep in mind when buying your children cold medicine?
If you have a son or daughter with a stuffy nose, cough, watery eyes and a sore throat, the most normal thing is that you worry about wanting to help him improve his cold symptoms . Surely your first instinct may be to run to the pharmacy to buy some medicine for the cold. Or you may not do it because of doubts about the side effects that these drugs can cause to children. If so, you do well.
The reason is that these cold and flu medicines do not cure them, nor do they make the disease last less. But instead, it is possible that they have some side effects that should not be taken lightly, including seizures and tachycardia .
This is true for children of all ages, but even more so for those under 2 years of age.
What is recommended then when your children have a cold?
- Do not give cough or cold medicines to children under 2 years of age.
- Follow carefully the indications on the label to administer syrups, analgesics or decongestants to children older than 2 years.
- Do not give your child two medications that contain the same ingredient. This can cause an overdose.
- Forget about antibiotics. These only serve when there is an infection caused by bacteria, not by virus (which is the case of the flu or the cold). In addition, excessive use of antibiotics can create resistance to them .
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil) can help reduce fever and relieve headache and throat pain. If you give one or the other to your child, carefully follow the instructions on the dose.
Help your child with the following strategies:
- Give him lots of fluids. This helps loosen congestion and mucus.
- Tap on the back to help him cough and eliminate phlegm.
- Use a vaporizer to moisten your airway.
- Give him a solution of warm salt water to gargle him and help him improve his sore throat.
- In the case of babies or very young children, use a suction bulb to remove the mucus from the nose.
- Let him rest and recover. If necessary, do not send it to school . This way it will not infect other children and it will recover sooner.
If your child has a high fever, is urinating less than usual, coughs for more than a week, has thick mucus and green or has trouble breathing, do not hesitate to contact the doctor immediately.
And of course, remember that the best weapon against colds and flu is prevention. Wash hands, cover when sneezing or coughing with the inside of the elbow and avoid contact with sick people. And of course, when it comes to the flu or influenza, we have the vaccine.