Cough & Cold Medications Not Recommended for Children Under 4 Years of Age

Cough and cold medicines are not recommended for respiratory illnesses in children under four years of age.

Research has shown these products offer little benefit to young children and can have potentially serious side effects. 

Many cough and cold products for children have more than one ingredient, increasing the chance of accidental overdose if combined with another product.

Cough and cold medicines should not be used under age 4, and should be used from age 4 to 6 only if recommended by the child’s doctor. View a video clip here.

There are comfort measures that can be offered to parents of young patients, including plenty of fluids; saline nose drops or spray for stuffy noses; a cool mist humidifier; ibuprofen or acetaminophen to reduce fever. Talk to your child's doctor about how to use these products safely. 

For coughs, dark honey (Buckwheat Dark Honey, for example) may be given to children over 1 year of age. Giving honey to infants under a year old is dangerous. Talk to your pediatrician about amounts. 

Information for Parents:
Coughs and Colds: Medicines or Home Remedies?

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