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The Cold Medicine Confusion – What’s a Mom To Do?

Sick_kids_2 On Friday, A U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel recommended a ban on over-the-counter cough and cold medicines for children younger than 6.    Many reports showed that the medicines were nothing more than a placebo and recommended the drugs be tested to see if they are in any way effective.  The recommendations apply to medicines containing at least one of the following ingredients: decongestants, expectorants, antihistamines and antitussives, the AP reported.

So today, as we read the reports that the medicine we’ve been giving our children for years is not only ineffective but might not be safe, how will moms respond?  For the past few days, as initial reports having been coming through,  my e-mail box has been jammed with questions and concerns from moms on what this really means.  Most will be scouring their medicine cabinet and probably filling at least a bag full with medicines they will be discarding. 

Between this news and the spate of toy recalls, it leaves all of us anxious.  How do we best care for our children and keep them safe?  Is this a call for "back to basics?"  Most pediatricians will advise parents that the best remedies for babies when they have colds is saline drops and cool mist vaporizers.   As moms, we took comfort in the fact that, when we saw our little ones miserable from a cold or flu, we could give them something to make them feel better.   Now, we’re waking up to the fact that there’s no magic bullet.  Our children’s illness needs to run its course and we’re in for some cranky days and sleepless nights.    But in the end, we’re willing to put up with this if we know that it is the safer alternative to the chemicals we’ve been giving our babies that could potentially harm them rather than cure them. 

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