over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold medicines can cause serious harm to young children. The risks of using these medicines is more than any help the medicines might have in reducing cold symptoms.
From ages 4 to 6 years, cough medicine should be used only if recommended by your child's doctor. After age 6 years, the medicines are safe to use, but follow the instructions on the package about the right amount of medication to give. Luckily, you can easily treat cough s and colds in young children without these cough and cold medicines.
A good home remedy is safe, does not cost a lot, and can help your child feel better. They are also found in almost every home.
Here is how you can treat your child's symptoms with home remedies:
Treatment Is Not Always Needed
If cold symptoms are not bothering your child, he or she doesn't need medicine or home remedies. Many children with a cough or a stuffy nose are happy, play normally, and sleep well.
Only treat symptoms if they make your child uncomfortable, has trouble sleeping, or the cough is really bothersome (e.g., a hacking cough).
Because fevers help your child's body fight infections, only treat a fever if it slows your child down or causes discomfort. This doesn't usually happen until your child's temperature reaches 102°F (39°C) or higher.
acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol) or ibuprofen (e.g., Advil, Motrin) can be safely used to treat fever or pain.
If treatment is needed for coughs and colds, home remedies may work better than medicines.