Children's medicines do not necessarily make them better and we need to remember that before we give them over the counter medication. They may lessen the symptoms or alleviate discomfort but they won't make them better any quicker or cure them. If your child remains unwell for a couple of days you should take them to the doctor.
Expectorants contain an ingredient called guaifenesin and is often used to loosen mucus. There is much debate whether it is even effective in children and it has been suggest should not be used for children under 4.
Cough Suppressants can help at night time in order to allow the child to sleep. Dextromethorphan is the active ingredient and is usually found in a prescribed medicine rather than an over the counter medicine.
Decongestants are supposed to relieve a runny nose. The active ingredient is phenylephrine and pseudoephedrine. Although decongestants can be helpful, it has been reported that they can make children hyperactive or irritable.
Antihistamines are mostly used to treat symptoms caused by allergies. Sneezing, runny nose etc. can be helped by using an antihistamine.
It seems that just as many children begin to find themselves really mucky by the end of the day: food, paint, sand, mud all over them, that they develop a fear of the bath! Between the age of 1 and 2 it is common to hear of toddlers who cry, scream and refuse to get into their lovely, warm, foaming water despite lots of encouragement. There are various things that might scare children about bathing - even if they cannot necessarily articulate the problem, bear the following in mind.
Try to reduce the fears by:-
If they really refuse, don't force them. Try a stand up wash, then progress to a stand-up wash in the bath. Then with a little water and gradually build up the water over a couple of weeks, if that's what it takes.
Make bath time fun with a few toys to play with and calm lighting. Even try getting in yourself! That might be fun!
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.
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