You might think twice about spending money on over-the-counter drugs the next time your child catches a cold. According to recent studies, cold medicines may not do much for children.
With the numerous cold medicines available in South Africa, it’s not easy to decide what could actually work. Parents spend millions of rand on these remedies hoping they will make their children more comfortable. If you’re like most parents, you probably have a variety of cold medicines in your medicine cabinet right now. However, one recent report found that the usefulness of most of these drugs has not been proven on children. There were signs that the drugs helped children over the age of 6. Teenagers and adults seem to feel the full effect of cold remedies. Therefore, if you catch a cold from your child, at least the drugs will help you.
What about cough suppressants?
Another study looked only at cough suppressants. The children in the study were between 18 months and 12 years old. Children who took cough suppressants didn’t feel any better or get well any sooner than children who didn’t take the drugs. Another reason to think twice: The drugs in the study dextromethorphan and codeine can have serious effects including drowsiness, diarrhea and hyperactive behaviour.
So, the nest time your child has a cold, don’t waste your money or your time on a trip to the pharmacy. Your child won’t suffer more because he’s not medicated, and you won’t have to struggle with your child to get the medicine down.