A January 2008 FDA Public Health Advisory “Recommends that Over-the-Counter (OTC) Cough and Cold Products not be used for Infants and Children under 2 Years of Age.” The risk of serious and potentially life-threatening side effects has prompted the Food and Drug Administration to advise parents not to treat infants and children under 2 years of age with OTC cough and cold medicines. The FDA is still reviewing safety information regarding the use of these OTC medicines in children 2 to 11 years of age and anticipates communicating its recommendations in the near future. The FDA stated, “we are aware of reports of serious side effects from cough and cold medicines in children 2 years of age and older.”
A December 2007 Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine study should help parents find an alternative to OTC medications for their children having trouble sleeping at night due to upper respiratory tract infections. The findings of this recent study suggests that buckwheat honey is a great remedy for children 2 to 18 years old with nocturnal cough and difficulty sleeping. When the study compared honey, honey-flavored dextromethorphan (cough medicine), and no treatment, for children suffering from nocturnal cough and sleep difficulty due to upper respiratory tract infection, parents rated honey most favorably for symptomatic relief. Overall, the trial found that “honey may be a preferable treatment for the cough and sleep difficulty associated with childhood upper respiratory tract infection.”
**Please keep in mind that honey should never be fed to infants under 12 months of age.**
Raw honey should not be given to infants under one year of age because of the rare possibility of infection with the bacteria that causes botulism. And remember, as with all health issues concerning children, please consult your family’s pediatrician regarding treatment of your child’s ailments.
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Review the FDA advisory at: http://www.fda.gov/Cder/drug/advisory/cough_cold_2008.htm
Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine article: