Is My Child Old Enough to Take Cold Medicine? | MomDocs

Is My Child Old Enough to Take Cold Medicine? | MomDocs

We are deep into cold and flu season, and parents often ask us when they can give their children cough and cold medicine. Unfortunately, OTC cough and cold medications are not recommended for children under four. Not only has it not been shown to be effective in very young children, but it can also have side effects. For example, making your child too sleepy.

If your child is between four and six, you should still talk to your pediatrician before giving your child cough or cold medicine. This will ensure that the dosage and frequency are correct for their weight. Remember that while infants and toddlers can’t have cough medicine, they can have Tylenol or Ibuprofen for their symptoms. Your pediatrician can help determine the correct dosage for them.

Aside from medications, hot foods like chicken soup or tea can be effective in easing symptoms of cough and congestion. If your child is over a year old, a teaspoon of honey can be effective in soothing a cough. Honey is not recommended for children under a year old, as it can come with a risk of botulism. Children two and older can also use a mentholated chest rub, like Vick’s Vaporub or a similar product to help with their symptoms. Always follow the instructions and ensure that you do not use more than the recommended amount.

If your child is sick, it’s best to call your pediatrician. As always, we are happy to see you here at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

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