Once the news was out that the FDA urged parents to avoid children’s over-the-counter cough and cold medicines, many parents found themselves with a few questions. Why were they banned and how can parents now safely ease their child’s discomfort?
In September 2007, the FDA released a report that revealed that from 1969 to 2006, 54 children died after taking decongestants, and 69 children died after taking antihistamines. It starts with the child’s biology. Very simply, babies under 6 months do not have the capability to breakdown the chemical dextromethorphan found in cough suppressant remedies. Pseudoephedrine, a nasal decongestant chemical, has a similar issue. Thus, they can build up in the baby’s body and are viewed as toxins by the child’s liver.
Try a few of the following safer herbal options (which can be found at your local natural health food store):
Nasal relief: Hyland’s Sniffles ‘n Sneezes 4 Kids which contains zinc gluconate which can shorten the duration of colds.
Chest herbal rub: Nature’s Baby Organics Ah-Choo chest rub, made of olive oil, eucalyptus, and tea tree oil.
Sore throats and coughs: Slippery Elm bark and cherry bark lozenges for kids one year and older.