Ensuring over-the-counter protection for children is crucial when purchasing medications. Heading to the nearest chain drug store may make it simple to obtain pills, ointments, and liquids that can relieve stuffy noses, aching limbs, and nagging coughs while saving you time at the doctor’s office. However, not all doses and types are suitable for smaller systems. Guideposts, or vital information panels on these common products, provide the facts on how much to give, how often, what’s in it, any warnings or risks, and whether the drug is child-safe based on your child’s age.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has identified several common over-the-counter (OTC) drugs for children that should be avoided. Always contact your doctor if you have any questions, especially if age-appropriate instructions aren’t included, and be wary of potentially lethal medication combinations.
Fever reducers and analgesics.
Ibuprofen, which is found in Advil and Motrin, is available for children. Tylenol is a well-known brand of acetaminophen. Both alleviate mild to moderate pain and alleviate fever symptoms. Consider them if your child has fever-related headaches, body aches, irritability, or minor pain from bangs and bruises.
Warnings: When given to children over the age of six months who are not vomiting, ibuprofen can effectively reduce fevers of 103 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
According to the AAP, these medications treat sneezing and stuffy, drippy noses caused by allergies such as hay fever or itching from insect bites and chickenpox. It’s been marketed as Benadryl and Dimetapp.
Some children may experience drowsiness or nightmares as a side effect. Others may become agitated, nervous, or restless. To begin, avoid giving the drugs to children before bedtime.
These medications work similarly to antihistamines in breaking up nasal congestion but also treat colds and allergies. Sudafed and Contac are well-known brands.
Caution: Use sparingly in children to avoid anxiety and racing hearts. Also, nose sprays and drops temporarily shrink nasal membranes to make breathing easier, but should only be used for three days. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, this prevents the body from becoming dependent on them.
Saltwater/saline nose drops
When thick mucus clogs tiny noses, use this solution with a bulb syringe. Place one or two drops of the liquid in each nostril, sold as Otrivin and Ayr. Then suction out the mucus and droplets with the syringe.
Caution: Excessive use of this method may cause nasal irritation in children. According to the AAP, the technique is intended for infants and toddlers who are unable to blow their own noses.
Expectorants, such as Robitussin and Mucinex, can aid in loosening mucus in painful, dry coughs. Germs are then removed from the airways.
The American College of Chest Physicians advises against giving over-the-counter cough medications to children under the age of 14. According to the company, the drugs do not treat underlying causes, and most coughs go away on their own. Avoid cough suppressants as well because the natural response is critical to clearing the lungs.
Mild cortisone cream
According to the National Institutes of Health, these topical creams, which are part of the steroid family of medicines, relieve redness, swelling, and discomfort. Insect bites, mild rashes, including those caused by poisonous plants, and eczema patches are common treatments.
The AAP warns that products should never be used for chickenpox, burns, infections, open wounds, or broken skin. Consult a doctor before using any product for an extended period of time, especially on the face, to avoid potential growth issues.
Medicines for the gastrointestinal
Gas, constipation, and diarrhea in children can cause parents to reach for Pepto Bismol.
Except for persistent diarrhea or constipation, these conditions usually resolve on their own. Dietary changes may also be beneficial. According to Pediatric Planet, a New York-based pediatric network, one cause of diarrhea could be excessive juice consumption. Persistent problems, on the other hand, may indicate an infection or another problem that a doctor should treat.