With Winter right around the corner, many children have already developed coughs and runny noses. As parents, how can we help? A year ago, the FDA announced that over-the-counter cough and cold medicines should no longer be used for infants and toddlers under 2 years of age due to an alarming number of harmful and even fatal reactions from these meds. “Most of these reactions are due to misuse of the products,” pediatrician Dr. Bob Sears explains. “Parents often mix several cold and cough meds together and don’t realize they are overlapping the same ingredients. Or they are simply guessing how much they should give their baby when the label doesn’t specify an infant dose. However, some severe and fatal reactions have even occurred with seemingly proper dosing.”
Just last month, in response to the FDA’s ongoing investigation about the medications’ efficacy, manufacturers voluntarily decided to change their labeling and advice for children, stating that cough and cold meds are no longer safe or advisable for children under age four.
According to Dr. Sears, pediatricians support recalling the medicines for children under 6, and the Food and Drug Administration is studying their effectiveness for children under 12. Unfortunately, it may take them a year or more to make a final decision and order changes.
Keep your kids healthy through the cold and flu season – naturally!
Here are Dr. Sears’ simple recommendations for easing the discomfort of cold symptoms:
- Run a hot steam vaporizer
- Flush stuffy noses with saline
- Prop kids slightly upright to sleep better
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Eat chicken soup or other hot broths
- Eat healthy; include fruits and vegetables in daily diet
- Use honey for scratchy or sore throats (only for kids 1 year and older)
Proven all-natural cough and cold medications that really work
Sinupret For Kids is a natural product that Dr. Sears has found to be very effective at supporting the sinus, respiratory, and immune systems. It is not a drug, but a plant-based remedy that has been used in Europe for decades and is now available in the U.S. The active ingredients are an all-natural combination of 5 plants that have been studied extensively and have a long track record of safety in Europe and around the world. Sinupret promotes healthy drainage in the upper respiratory tract, improves airflow in the nose and supports healthy mucous clearance from the nose and sinuses.
Hylands Cough Syrup With Honey – 4 Oz Hyland’s has been offering relief to families with its homeopathic remedies since 1903. We gave this product a try because we already swore by Hyland’s teething tablets! Hyland’s Cough Syrup with Honey addresses barking, croupy, moist and dry coughs and runny noses quickly, and without side effects. It is sugar-free and tastes pretty good (for a cough medicine). Lisa, a New York mom, says, “My 5-year-old daughter was having a lot of coughing fits due to post nasal drip, especially at night. This stuff works immediately. This would calm her right down.”
Remember, honey shouldn’t be given to children the age of 1 without first consulting a physician. (Do not use this product for persistent or chronic cough such as occurs with asthma, or if cough is accompanied with excess mucous, unless directed by a licensed health care professional.)
ZoLi Nasal Aspirator This little gadget is new to the market, from a company overwhelmingly committed to “growing a greener future” for our little ones. Clinically tested to be safe for babies from birth (0+), the gentle, steady suction of ZoLi’s battery-operated Breathe nasal aspirator clears up baby’s stuffy nose, more effectively and quickly than a standard suction bulb. Its transparent reservoir provides visibility into the amount of congestion cleared.
Gemina, a mother of a toddler and a preschooler, says it’s faster, more efficient and not as messy as traditional suction, and she liked the selection of included soft, flexible silicone tips in a variety of sizes. The see-through reservoir provided a sense of getting the job done, but cleaning it out was another matter. As parents, we clean a lot of unpleasant messes, don’t we?
Wellness Kit for Kids, Herbs For Kids brand This great new kit is a gem of a find. Whenever I run into runny noses at the park with the kids, I always recommend it. In one handy little box are three homeopathic formulas which help support and protect your baby or child all year long.
Sweet Echinacea for immune support is perfect for the first signs of a virus, or when you’re about to take your child on a flight to see Grandma; The Cherry Bark Blend is for respiratory support, and can clear up a cough in no time, helping everyone to get some rest at night; And Nettles & Eyebright is for allergy season relief—it clears up a runny nose faster than an OTC antihistamine, but without side effects! Each kit also contains free stickers and a free “Parent’s Guide to Healthy Kids”. Get this and stay healthy.
Nature’s Way Umcka Cold Care Grape Flavor Suitable for children and adults ages 6 and up, this amazing all-natural product from Germany shortens duration of throat, sinus and bronchial irritations. Clinically-tested, non-drowsy, and 99% alcohol-free, Umcka shortens the duration and reduces the severity of throat, sinus and bronchial irritations, providing effective relief of upper respiratory tract irritations. Originating from the traditional African Zulu medicine for coughs and respiratory ailments, it is made from Pelargonium sidoides, a species of geranium unique to South Africa.
My husband and I use this for our own coughs and colds. Michele, the mother of triplets and a fourth child (all under age 4!) says, “This stuff has been clinically tested and absolutely conclusively in double-blind, placebo-controlled tests has been shown to reduce the duration and severity of bacterial and viral infections. It’s now one of the most used supplements in Germany, with a 700 percent increase in sales. It’s even been shown to work on antibiotic resistant ear infections, bronchitis, and can even prevent pneumonia…It’s all about the Umcka. I wonder if they sell it by the gallon?”
For more helpful hints for managing your child’s coughs and colds, check out Winter Wellness – Coping With The Common Cold