Did You Know Over-the-Counter Medications Can be Dangerous for Children Under 12 Years of Age

When your child has a cold and isn’t feeling well, we understand that you want to do everything you can to help them feel better.  However, parents should refrain from giving over-the-counter cold and cough medications. 



Why you ask?


Studies not only show that these medications aren’t effective,
they can also be dangerous for children under the age of 12
years.  These medications can lead to a decrease in
respiratory rate and an increase in heart rate. Besides,
coughs are a normal symptom of a cold and serve a
purpose - coughs help the body clear the mucus out of
the airway and protect the lungs.



So what can I do instead to help my child?


Colds are self-limiting and typically last 7-10 days without
the need of medications.  To help ease your child’s symptoms,
we recommend:

  • A teaspoon of honey to soothe a cough (not to be given to children less than 1 year of age)
  • Steam showers or humidifiers to help clear congestion
  • Rest and fluids
  • Tylenol or Ibuprofen (only for children 6 months of age
    or older) can help ease headaches and body aches. 


When to Call Your Pediatrician’s Office

  1. A 100.4 degree temperature for children under 3 months of age
  2. A temperature of 101 (in a child over 3 months of age) that persists for greater than 3 days
  3. Signs of labored breathing
  4. Blue lips
  5. Not eating or drinking with signs of dehydration
  6. Ear pain
  7. Excessive crankiness or sleepiness
  8. If the cough lasts more than 3 weeks
  9. If your child is worsening


Click here to watch a great AAP Webinar on giving medications to children!




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