Cough medicines are ineffective: A research saysA researcher recently conducted a new poll to assess the importance of cold medications that parents frequently give their children. According to the poll findings, 44% of parents who had children below 4 years confirmed to have given their children cold medicine and multi- symptom coughing medication. 42 percent of the parents agreed to have given cough medicine to their children while 25 percent reported to have given decongestants to their children.

Are cold and cough medicines helpful?

Since 1990s, doctors have come to the conclusion that cold and cough medications given to children are likely to be of little to no help for the children. Also, in 2000s, doctors came to the realization that in addition for the medicines not being unhelpful, they could also be harmful on the healthiness of the child. The findings were reported by Dr. Matthew Davis of C.S Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health.  After taking the medicines, children have reported experiencing breathing problems, seizures drowsiness and a rapid heartbeat, says Davis. Even though not all the children tend to experience these side effects, the bottom line is that these medicines are not effective when used to treat cold symptoms. And in any case, the medicines are unneeded whether the child experiences the side effects or not.

The reason why these medicines do not seem to work for kids is not very clear. However, the researchers were of the opinion that this could be due to children having narrow airways that continue being blocked despite use of such medicines. Davis added that in his profession as a pediatrician, he never recommends sue of the medicines. The situation is usually very confusing for parents because despite these products being clearly labeled as a ‘children’s’ medication, the same medications also have a smaller print at the back recommending for the medicines not to be used for children aged four years and below.

Food and Drug Administration had in 2008 advised that over the counter medications shouldn’t be used for infants and children below two years. As their response to this Consumer Healthcare Products Association that also includes manufacturers of cough and cold medications sold over the counter changed their prints and stated that the medications were only not in treating children below four years. They just wanted to take caution and restrict the age of children who can use the products.

Parents need to consult doctors

Rather than just taking it upon themselves to give cough medications to their children, parents are advised on the importance of consulting a doctor. In addition, Davis also advised parents to prop their children up as they sleep to keep the head higher than hips so that to assist in congestion drainage. While the number of parents giving the medicines to their children has significantly reduced, the research reported that their happiness was to see the number come near to zero as they are not helpful after all.