Why You Shouldn’t Give Cough or Cold Medicine to Your Baby

Actually, this cold season, you won’t be able to. Yesterday, drug manufacturer’s everywhere voluntarily recalled cough and cold medicines ahead of a meeting next week that was going to decide the fate of the medicines. Research shows that cough and cold medicines are ineffective in children that young and they have been linked to deaths in recent years. The debate will not only discuss cough and cold medicine for infants under two, but government officials may nix cough and cold syrup for preschoolers as well.

The Deaths

It is important to note, in this day when so many things are getting recalled, that the medicine is not being recalled because it was tainted, or because there was something wrong with it. Deaths that are associated with the use of cough and cold medicines in infants were due to accidental overdose. In essence, the baby’s parents failed to read the directions.

I mentioned in another article I wrote when the CDC issued a warning about the medications that it is confusing when you go to the store. Several medications are labeled for infants however, after carefully reviewing the instructions, not one of them was appropriate for children under the age of two. That’s right. . .all those cold medications labeled as “Infant’s Tylenol Cold Medicine” or “Infant’s Dimetapp” are not really for infants under the age of two.

The Research

There is overwhelming research that shows that cough and cold medications do not work in infants younger than two years of age. Government officials will decide next week as to whether or not the medications work well enough for children over two years of age to justify putting them out on the market.

I sense that soon, grandma’s remedies for relieving a cold will make a big come back. Similar to the ‘back to sleep’ campaign, I envision the new common wisdom for colds to be “aspirate, aspirate, aspirate”. Look for my next blog on how to deal with a nasty cold in your infant.