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Please Don’t Drug Your Babies October 12, 2007


A recent article in the New York Times said that companies making infant cold and cough medicines are recalling some of their products after numerous reports of hallucinations, misuse and deaths in children under the age of six who consumed infant decongestants and antihistamines.

Safety reviewers from the Food and Drug Association urged the agency to make a ban on all infant cough and cold medicines, including Robitussin Infant Cough DM Drops, Triaminic Infant and Tylenol Concentrated Infant Drops Plus Cold and Cough. But companies are still selling the drugs, and pharmacies are buying them.

Chances are, the pharmacies will keep buying them until they are banned – if that ever happens. A group of outside experts are going to meet in the next few weeks to give recommendations to the FDA. I have a feeling the drug companies will have a few recommendations of their own. I guess we’ll have to wait and see who’s voice is louder.

Personally, the FDA’s final say on the matter won’t affect my sentiments on the matter. I think you should try your hardest to keep your kids off these drugs. Sometimes, it’s inevitable – usually that’s when you’ve already had to go the pediatrician, however.

The thing is, I remember taking the exact recommended dosage of Robitussin and similar drugs when I used to catch a lot of colds back in high school.

And man, that stuff gets you high.

Another New York Times article discussed how homeopathic, over-the-counter cough and cold medicine is becoming more popular, but consumers should still be careful – many drug companies are giving themselves the label of ‘natural’ without really having anything natural in them. It’s a similar phenomena to the whole organic food situation in the U.S.A today: looking the other way and stamping the seal of approval.

But there are other alternative options to popular infant drops: before Tylenol ruled the drug stores, people used natural, non-hallucinogenic methods to help alleviate their children’s ailments.

Here are a few leads on alternatives:

An article in Mother Nature describes making elder, yarrow root tea to reduce fevers and peppermint tea for upset stomach in children.

Preventative medicine is important for kids too. Herbs for Kids reports that Echinacea root, Hyssop, Lemon Balm, Lemon Thyme, Lemongrass and Ginger root are all beneficial for a child’s immunity to cold’s and coughs (though a recent study from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine say that there is no evidence that Echinacea is beneficial for children.)

There are more remedies, and I will keep adding them to the list. Feel free to add your own.

The most important thing to remember, however, is that there is no cure for the common cold – whether your child is filled with antihistamines or elder flower. All the the remedies can do is knock the kid out or alleviate the pain (p.s. elder flower will not knock out your child. Chamomile, however, has been known to help relax people and therefore lead to better sleep..).

NOTE: The mother of the cute baby boy in the picture posted a lot of useful information about natural remedies to children’s colds. I recommend you read it.