Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Hold the meds, endure the colds

My 15-month-old is muddling his way through the first of what I imagine will be many colds in this first year of three-day-a-week morning daycare. All he gets as help from me is a little sympathy, some occasional saline spray to the nostrils to help flush the gunk out, and as much fluid as he’ll put down. No Dimetapp, No Pediacare for Owen. I’m wary of medicine that’s not absolutely necessary anyway, especially for young kids. And now, when it comes to cold remedies anyway, pediatricians, the FDA and the drug industry itself are suggesting that avoiding over-the-counter drugs altogether is probably the best plan of attack as we help our under-4-year-olds battle colds.

In case you missed it, an Associated Press story in today’s Ledger-Enquirer reports about the decision by companies that make over-the-counter cold remedies to recommend against using those products in kids under 4. Pediatricians have supported a ban for children under 6, the story says. As one doctor explains, “There is no evidence that these products work in kids, and there is definitely evidence of serious side effects.” Read the full story here.

As a side note: We have occasionally used a children’s decongestant when Will has had a cold and we’re heading somewhere on an airplane – to keep his sinuses clear enough to avoid the excruciating pain of air pressure changes with congestion. I learned that lesson in college when I perforated an ear drum while flying with a cold.

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