Cough Medicine Leads to Emergency Room Visits for Toddlers

ABC Chiropractor, ABC Doctor

Dr. Erica S. Kasprzyk, DC

(Reuters Jan. 11, 2007) The American College of Chest Physicians recommends to NOT use cough medicine in children under two years old. They recommend softening nasal membranes with saline and a cool-mist humidifier and then suction with a bulb. These are important in light of 3 infant deaths that were verified by the coroner as due to cough/cold medicine. As a side-note, 1500 children under two are treated every year in the emergency room for adverse reactions to cough and cold medicines.  Even the Centers for Disease Control says to speak with a physician before administering cough medicine to those under two years old.  Bottom line: make sure your child-care givers know your stance on this, including your spouse. It is very easy to overdose a baby or toddler on this medicine. And NEVER allow someone to give your baby cough medicine to put them to sleep unless under specific doctor’s orders. I don’t think a responsible doctor would approve drugging for the convenience of the child-care provider and it shouldn’t be a practice used by your day-care attendants.  Finally, I know there is a trend towards drugging kids with cough/cold medicines for airplane rides. But for your child’s sake, please take these physician’s recommendations very seriously before considering it. I’ve traveled with Sarah many times and there isn’t any time I would have felt compelled to have her “knocked out.” If your baby/toddler is crying, the other passengers will just deal with it; most passengers are surprisingly sympathetic—they have kids and grandkids too!! Besides, the crying never lasts the whole flight. So I say don’t stress out! Try special treats or toys instead 🙂


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