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Medicine for Kids

What you can do when your child gets sick

by: Nancy Ripton

In This Article


he rules surrounding cold and flu medications for children seem to change every year–here's what you need to know when it comes to helping sick kids feel better.

The scoop on treating colds and flu in children

Thanks to recent studies that show cough and cold meds can be both ineffective and unsafe for children, new labeling prevents the use of these medications in kids under age six. (Studies involving the drugs have only been done on adults and new research questions the benefits of certain ingredients, such as antihistamine, antitussive, decongestants and expectorants, on children.)

There is also some evidence that these ingredients can cause negative side effects in some children, not to mention a risk of overdose by well-meaning parents. “When it comes to a runny nose and cough, some parents are quick to give a double dose thinking the results will be twice as good,” says Mark Dragich, a pharmacist in Toronto.

So what cold and flu meds are safe ... >>