Medicines for children’s cough aren’t always effective. Here is what you should use instead.

In 2008, the FDA strongly recommended against giving children under the age of 2 years old, over-the-counter cough and cold medicine. This warning was not required of drug manufacturers by the FDA but most companies included this warning for children under 4 years old on their labels.


Evidence shows that children’s cold medicines aren’t effective and can cause side effects especially in young children. This information doesn’t leave parents with many options of support for their sick children.

Why are these medicines concerning

Children’s cough and cold medicines were often not studied in children but studied in adults. The results were then applied to children. There is no way of predicting that children and adults will have the same reactions to medications. Even in adults, effectiveness of these medications are weak.

How can these medicines negatively effect children

According to the Center for Disease Control, thousands of children 12 years and younger go to the Emergency room every year, after taking cough/cold medicine unsupervised.

Taking too much cold medicine can cause dangerous reactions. Parents also have to be careful when administering medicine to their children. Different brands may suggest different doses due to amount of active ingredients. It’s also possible to measure incorrectly during a sleepless night, or a parent may offer two different medicines not realizing the active ingredient is in both medications.

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