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As the seasons change, our baby's are more prone to suffering seasonal coughs and colds. As parents, we don't wish our baby's to suffer, we want them to recover as quickly as possible, and we want don't want to suffer the inconvenience of our baby's coughing and wheezing through the night. One of our first reactions is to give medicine, partly to help with the cold, but also to help them sleep. Over the last couple of years though, concerns have been raised about some of the medicines we give to babies. The sale of anti-histamine based medicines has now been stopped for children under the age of 2 and a number of other medicines that used to be readily available are now sold in a more controlled manner.
Health advisory bodies question the value of most cough and cold medicines in babies under the age of 2. Medicines rarely clear up illness, they usually ease the symtpoms. There have also been increasing instances where different medicines have been issued in conjunction with each other, leading to an overdose. The organs of babies under 2 may still not be fully developed and they may not be able to cope with the doses of medication that are administered.
Parents are now encouraged to use paracetamol and ibuprofen based medicines, vapour rubs and simple cough syrup such as glycerol, honey or lemon. Although pure honey shouldn't be given to babies under 1 year (so don't administer homemade honey and lemon), honey used in medicine's is processed and is safe.
Keeping up with health advice can always be difficult, and sweeping prouct bans don't instill confidence, but remember that all the medicine's that are now more tightly controlled have been safe provided that you stick to the correct dosage.