Cold and flu season is upon us. Now is the time that we start to reach into the medicine cabinet and start to think, what can my children take when they get a cold?
The problem is, there is no easy answer.
However, luckily there are a few basic rules to treat by. First, the FDA does not recommend over-the-counter (OTC) cold and cough medicines for children younger than 2. The reason is these medications can have serious side effects on children. Second, viruses cause common colds. This means that antibiotics or OTC medications will have no effect on the disease course. For older children OTC medications can only help alleviate symptoms for a short period, but they still just need lots of fluids and rest to get them back to health.
However, in older children, if you choose to give OTC medications here are a few tips:
Most common colds just have to run their course. Some old remedies are still correct that lots of rest and some chicken soup is sometimes the best medicine. However, here are some scenarios when you should always contact your health care provider.