Thursday, January 17, 2008

Cold Medicine for Babies?

Status: Still stressed, but trying to "surf the chaos" as my friend Jen would say...

Okay, so the FDA is coming out and saying (officially) that children under age 2 shouldn't have any sort of cold medicine. I gave tons of cold medicines to my first three kids (granted this was 8 years ago) when they were babies. Apparently there are issues with overdosing and serious side effects.

Herein lies the problem: I'm supposed to just let my baby suffer?

The answer, is yes. Case in point: my eight-month old currently has the Cruds, or what I refer to "after" the cold. He is hacking up phlegm, and his nose is constantly stuffy and running. But he seems to be handling it just fine. Bottom line, all those cold medicines were made so the PARENTS could feel better, not the kids. Think about it--who wants to see their baby suffering with chest congestion or a stuffy nose? But in all reality, babies are quite adaptive and resilient (generally) and they just "deal with it." Plus there are other options. Saline drops for the nose, humidifiers, steam showers. Lots of things you can do to make baby more comfortable. Even elevating their heads (or in my case, having him sit up) helps.

I spoke with my pediatrician at length about this, and she said that most OTC cold remedies don't help babies, and some of them seemed to make symptoms worse. In fact, children under six should probably stay away from OTC cold medicines.

So I hate that my baby has a cold, but he's dealing with it just fine, and as long as I'm doing what I can to make him comfortable, that's the best thing for him.

So, I've been de-junking my back storage basement. I've been tearing up the cardboard boxes and converting to clear plastic tubs. Hubby built a TON of sturdy shelves back there for me, and I've got a ton of them lined up in rows so far. But the fun part is: it's sort of like Christmas again: I don't know what's in the box until I open it and then I have the Trip Down Memory Lane, or I am mortified because I've kept such and such this long, etc. etc. It's a blast!

The cobwebs, however, are not so much a blast. Ig.

Awesome Personal Trainer is coming tonight. We haven't seen her since Hawaii. I need to get back into the great routine I had going before then! I've lost 20 pounds, and I have a bit to go. But slow and sure. Sitting in a chair doing edits and writing are NOT helping my backside...


Anonymous said...

You're absolutely right. And I think a lot of it has to do with parents who want their kids to shut up, and give them cold medicine whether or not they have a cold, just to get them to shut up. That's one of the reasons codeine was taken out of over-the-counter medicines back in either the 60s or 70s when I was growing up -- because there were all these six year old addicted to codeine.

I never gave any of the godkids cold medicine, because I didn't trust it. I didn't feel I had enough knowledge to dose properly, and I didn't trust the dosages on the package. I always made poultices or used the humidifiers with essential oil steam or used the really old-time remedies.

An acquaintance of mine who's a pediatrician once told me her biggest frustration was parents who use over-the-counter medicines every time their kids have trouble sleeping, even when they're not sick, and what bad long-term effects it has. Especially because the reason the kids usually can't sleep is because of problems in the households!

Anonymous said...

Oh my poor kids. Guess I really messed you up? I don't remember codeine being in the medicine back then. I thought it was really helping you out! All a mother wants to do is make her baby well and comfortable.

Also, I love Jen's "surf the chaos" statement. I'm using it from now on!


Michelle Miles said...

With mine's allergies, I've noticed the stuff over the counter really doesn't help. So I don't give it to him unless he's really suffering.

The same goes for the cold stuff. It just doesn't work!

Lynn Sinclair said...

When my daughter was two, the doctor confirmed that cough or cold medicine was really just to make the parents feel better. Hope your baby is soon over her cold.

So proud of you for:

Tackling the basement. Clear storage bins are perfect!

Losing 20 pounds. You're an inspiration.