(Dennison, Ohio) – Doctors say many cold remedies can actually do more harm than good.
On average, kids get 6-8 colds a year and those in daycare can get up to 12!
In this week’s Healthy Tip Tuesday, Trinity Hospital Twin City is encouraging parents, although it may be hard, to do less when it comes preventing and treating colds. Doctors with THTC explain that many cold remedies can actually do more harm than good.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, antibiotics cannot cure the common cold, which is one of the most frequent reasons children miss school and adults miss work. THTC experts also note a few dos and don’ts when it comes to the common cold:
Don’t – Treat a cold with antibiotics – Officials explain that antibiotics fight bacterial illnesses while a cold is a viral illness, so antibiotics will not help. Also, taking antibiotics may cause unwanted side effects such as diarrhea, yeast infections, and rashes. In fact, they say in children, side effects from antibiotics are the most common reasons for an ER visit.
Do – Vicks Vapor Rub under the nose – A study conducted on 6-23-month-old babies showed this method significantly reduced congestion when applied before bed. Furthermore, THTC experts add this topical medicine has no systemic side effects and therefore is safe when used as instructed.
Don’t – Never use over the counter cough and cold medicines for children under the age of 2, preferably even for those under the age of 6. The FDA released a statement noting there is no evidence these medicines work and multiple side effects, including death, have occurred. The American Academy of Pediatrics also does not recommend cough and cold medicines for children under the age of 6. There are many reports of children. Ages 2-5 admitted to the ICU for cold medicine ingestion side effects, such as slow heart rate, unable to wake up, and low blood pressure.
Do – Consider using honey – Another study on children ages 2-18 showed honey also helped relieve coughing. Honey at ½ tsp for children ages 2-5, 1 tsp for children 6-11, and 2 tsp for children 12-18, did better at relieving a cough than over the counter medicine. More importantly, honey is safe for any child over the age of one.
Other remedies frequently recommended by physicians include humidifiers, nasal saline, chicken soup, and Vitamin C. THTC experts admit these remedies have conflicting data with regards to symptom relief, however, unlike cough and cold medicines, they are safe with minimal side effects reported.
Officials also ask parents to remember that colds often improve after approximately seven days. If this is not the case for your child, you should contact your physician.
So, according to THTC, bundle up and remember some of the best cold-fighting medicines are likely right in your kitchen!