Cold meds can send kids to the hospital

By Lauren Edwards • Published: April 8th, 2008
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

If you’re quick to reach for cough and cold medicines when your little one is under the weather, you might be better off backing away from the medicine cabinet.

According to recently released federal figures, each year these medicines send an estimated seventy-one-hundred children to the emergency room.

Admittedly, two-thirds of these E-R visits were because children accidentally took medicine on their own. Yet even with careful monitoring, reactions can occur. Many of these emergencies occurred when parents gave the proper dosage but their children had an allergic reaction, or reacted to the combination of drugs given together.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says these findings will likely influence the Food and Drug Administration’s discussions about giving cough and cold remedies to two to six year olds.

The F-D-A has already stated it considers these over-the-counter medicines too dangerous for children under age two. That’s an important consideration for parents, as sixteen-hundred of the seventy-one-hundred E-R visits were made by children in this age group.

The bottom line? Keep medicines out of the hands of children, and avoid mixing medicines. Know what you are giving your children, and monitor them once they’ve taken it.

Often simpler and safer remedies such as saline nose drops and moisturizing the air with a humidifier to ease congestion and nasal dryness can do wonders. And remember, with its immune-boosting benefits, sometimes a simple bowl of hot chicken soup is just what the doctor ordered.