Medicine Informations

 

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Thursday
Jun132013

Cough and Cold medicines in Children

Hi everyone, winter is upon us now! 

To answer some people's questions about whether they can give cough and cold medicines to their children under 11 years old here it is:

* Children under 6 years old can't have cough and cold medicines .

* Children 6-11 years old may be given cough and cold medicines ONLY ON THE ADVICE OF THEIR DOCTOR, PHARMACIST OR NURSE PRACTITIONER.

Why??

Because these medicines may cause harm to children and there is no proof that it can help them.

But....

* REST is important. Keep them home from school.

* Drinking plenty of water is good for them too to keep them hydrated. 

* Avoid exposure to cigarette smoke. So parents if you smoke avoid smoking around your children (and not only when they are sick but at all times too as passive smoke is harmful to your children too).

* Inhale steam to help relieve a blocked nose. Supervise your child while they breathe in steam from a hot bath or shower in a closed room. 

* If they have a sore throat, they can gargle with warm salty water/suck on ice cube/suck on throat lozenge/drink hot water with honey & lemon if they are old enough to gargle/suck/drink it.

* If they are in pain or have a fever paracetamol (over 1 month old- see Paracetamol link) and ibuprofen (over 3 months old) can help. 

* If they have blocked nose saline nasal sprays/drops are great for that. Nasal decongestants (NOT for babies under 6 months!) can be tried too but not recommended for use over 4-5 consecutive day to prevent rebound nasal congestion. Please read the enclosed consumer medicine information leaflet for directions on how to use. Most of them would have pictures to show you how to use it. For nasal decongestant drops or sprays or saline nasal sprays they would mainly advise that you shake the bottle before use and spray a few times into the air which is known as 'priming' to make sure the pump or spray is working and then you close 1 nostril and sniff out the other nostril and insert the nozzle then you spray 1-2 times and then you sniff it in. And do the same on the other side. Easy! Just remember that with the nozzle that you align it along the nose canal and not 'straight up'.

* Complementary medicines (eg. vitamin C, zinc, echinacea) are great for shortening duration of cold symptoms. Just ask your pharmacist for advice regarding your child's age/weight and symptoms and other medicines they are taking.

* For babies, there is Vicks baby rub or Eukybear rub available that you rub a small amount on their chest and keep them warm and the cold will resolve on its own. Saline drops can be used too for litte blocked noses and increase their fluid intake too if possible. Alot of loving and comfort can go a long way too! :)

Keep warm everyone! 

x Maryan