Flu Medicine For Children
Children can take some types of flu medicine, but other types may be unsafe. Children can take prescription flu medicines based on their age, as listed above for each of the four FDA-approved antiviral medications approved.
The OTC flu medicines that children can use also depend on the childs age and the medication. Always follow the directions on the OTC medication package and talk to a healthcare provider or pharmacist if youre unsure.
Why Opt For Natural Medication
“Natural” is a vague term, and one thrown around without much thought. A common reminder of this fact is that arsenic is technically natural.
In this instance, natural medicine refers to non-pharmacological interventions and treatments .
There are two reasons you might want to go this route. First, some common pharmacological treatments may have side effects or trigger a reaction .
As a naturopathic doctor, Megen McBride told Insider that many of her patients come to her “looking for healthy alternatives to the common pharmacy drug-shelf choices of cold and flu medicines, NSAIDs, and antihistamines available without a prescription.”
She noted that the primary reason for opting for gentler treatment is the fear of side-effects from pharmacological interventions. “The sheer number of scientific articles cautioning against chronic use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Advil and ibuprofen, synthetic antihistamines, and painkillers seem too innumerable to count,” McBride said.
“While these products are not a cure for colds or the flu, natural options may help soothe the symptoms of a virus and many people choose them because they better align with their personal health ideologies than conventional medicine,” said pharmacist, Maria Gil-Flores.
It’s important to remember that, as with all dietary supplements, statements made about natural remedies, including these recommendations, have not been evaluated by the FDA.
How Can I Prevent Infection
There are a few ways to decrease the chances of your child or yourself getting sick:
Wash hands frequently
Avoid touching the face and eyes
Throw away used tissues straight away
Get the flu vaccine. For children, the vaccine can often be given through a nasal spray rather than an injection
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Cold Remedies For Kids
Often, natural, at-home methods may work better than a cold medication without carrying the potential for serious side effects, says Dr. Anderson.
To help alleviate your childs cold symptoms, try the following:
- To offer children relief from a stuffy nose, use the power of steam, says Dr. Anderson. He recommends running a hot shower to fill your bathroom with steam for your child to sit in for several minutes. This, he says, will moisten the nasal congestion.
- Parents can try a combination of saline nasal drops and suctioning with a device like the noseFrida or a nasal aspirator, common in most pharmacies, says Dr. Anderson.
- Administer plenty of fluids throughout the day to alleviate mucus and improve breathing, recommends Dr. Anderson.
- Parents can try running a cool mist humidifier, suggests Dr. Fisher.
- In children over the age of 12 months, Dr. Fisher says a dose of honey may act as a cough suppressant .
- Try elevating your childs upper body while they sleep to keep mucus from collecting in their nose and throat, says Dr. Anderson.
Treatment For Colds & Flu In Children
There’s no cure for these infections, however, the body is usually able to fight the infection and heal itself in a fairly short time. To help relieve symptoms:
Make sure they rest at home. By not sending your child back to school until their fever, nose and throat symptoms are gone you will also help to prevent the spread of colds or flu
Let your child rest as much as possible and offer water frequently
Keep your child warm but take care to avoid overheating
Control fever with paracetamol or ibuprofen in syrups
Take special care with cough syrups since there are age restrictions on most preparations. Check with your pharmacist about which preparations are most suitable for your child. Preparations may contain decongestants , expectorants , antihistamines to aid sleep or cough suppressants.
Antibiotics are not used to treat colds and the flu since they have no effect on viruses. They are only useful in bacterial infections.
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Otc Cold Medicine For Kids
When it comes to giving over the counter medications to children, it is important to be cautious. In some cases, it may be best to simply skip the medicine altogether, especially since while cough and cold symptoms may be temporarily controlled with medicine, medication cannot treat or shorten the duration of a cough or cold. The symptoms will eventually go away on their own, usually in one to two weeks. If symptoms seem to linger or get noticeably worse, call your childs doctor to make sure that your little one doesnt have the flu or something more serious that requires medical attention. However, if your child just has a cold or cough but is feeling very uncomfortable, cough and cold medicine for kids may help them feel more comfortable while the illness runs its course.
Should I Give Another Dose If My Child Vomits
So the first dose didn’t agree with your child, who went and spit it out or vomited after taking medicine. A concerned parent may want to follow up with another full dose, but don’t do it. Some of that medication may have been absorbed, and if you give another full dose you risk overdosing him or her.
It’s better to call the pediatrician in times like this. If your child tends to spit up medication because he or she doesn’t like it, ask your pharmacist if it’s alright to mix the remedy with a bit of food or drink.
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When Should I See My Gp
If your child’s symptoms persist or get worse, speak to your GP. Seek immediate medical advice if you notice any of these symptoms:
Distressed, noisy or rapid breathing
Unusual grunting sounds
Weak, high-pitched or continuous cry
Pale, mottled, greyish or blue-tinged skin, lips or tongue
Respiratory rate greater than 60 breaths per minute
Decreased volume of urine
Refusal to drink water or inability to hold any water due to vomiting
Temperature of 38°C in children younger than three months, or 39°C and above in children between three and six months old
Mucinex Maximum Strength Caplets
If you are tired of cold medicines that need to be taken every three or four hours, consider Mucinex Maximum Strength Caplets. Just one of these potent symptom fighters should hold you for the better part of the day.
What we like: Mucinex is useful in addressing fever and the aches and pains that accompany it. It also does an above-average job reducing congestion and enabling you to breathe easier. Also, the one capsule per day thing is hard to beat.
Flaws: A bit expensive. And it can be inconvenient to have to take it every four hours. Especially if you are trying to sleep.
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Is It Safe To Give My Child Cold Medicine
Medications to reduce fever, pain and discomfort like acetaminophen are safe and effective for infants and children over 2 months of age, says Dr. Anderson, adding that ibuprofen is safe and effective for kids ages 6 months and older. However, you should never give a child aspirin, advises the AAP.
And when it comes to giving cold medicine to kids, Dr. Anderson issues a warning, citing the AAPs recommendation to avoid cold medicines in younger populations. In fact, the AAP has the following guidelines on cold medications for children:
- Cold medicine should not be used in children under 4 years old
- For children ages 4 to 6, consult your pediatrician before administering cold medicine
- For children over 6 years old, cold medicine may be given with strict adherence to the dosage instructions provided on the packaging.
Additionally, parents should note cold medicines are potentially dangerous to children if they are given the incorrect dosage for their weight, are given more than the recommended maximum doses per day or are given the same active ingredient in multiple medications.
As for FDA recommendations, the organization does not recommend OTC cough or cold medication in children younger than 2 years old, and states that prescription cough medicines containing codeine or hydrocodone are not intended for children under the age of 18.
What Are The Next Steps
Watch children with a cold or flu closely, keeping them comfortable and monitoring their temperature
Discuss with your pharmacist which over-the-counter medicines could help
Consider having your child vaccinated against flu
Seek medical help if symptoms worsen or complications arise you can call NHS 111 24/7 for advice.
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Immune Support Is Important
In general, all doctors and medical professionals say it’s important to focus on supporting your immune system particularly in natural ways to ensure you’re staying healthy all season long, especially with COVID-19 cases surging.
That’s because research shows a stronger immune system lowers your chances of coming down with a cold or flu.
Dr. Firouzi practices not just modern Western medicine but also the ancient Indian holistic branch of medicine called Ayurveda. This was created thousands of years ago, centered on a preventative approach to health and wellness that balances the mind, body, and spirit to minimize the need for treatment down the line.
“We are often searching for something to take for our specific health issues fundamentally, though, from the Ayurvedic standpoint, is the need to prevent the infection , which can in part be achieved through the strengthening of our immune system,” he said.
Megen McBride echoed this, emphasizing that preparation is paramount for preventing illness in times of high contagion .
There are a number of natural ways to balance your immune system both preventatively and once a virus has taken hold. Dr. Firouzi’s Ayurvedic recommendations are lifestyle-based and include sleep, meditation, yoga, and a healthy diet . These “can improve the immune system’s response ,” he said.
How Effective Is Natural Medication
“Natural therapies are generally therapies that work within the natural biological systems and processes of the body,” said McBride. “They’re used for supporting, tonifying, and balancing the body so that our immune responses to infections are more appropriate, and better tolerated to our whole being.”
The efficacy of natural medications is a highly contentious, ongoing debate. This is because we judge efficacy by two standards: Peer-reviewed studies and scientific trials, and anecdotal evidence. And we don’t have nearly as many scientific studies or trials showing herbs, vitamins, and other natural treatments to be unquestionably effective like we do for pharmaceuticals.
However, there’s something important to consider: Many studies and trials are funded by the pharmaceutical industry itself. These studies are needed for FDA approval of a product but they’re expensive, and many companies often can’t get the necessary funding without the kind of backing the industry offers. Thus, natural medications don’t always have equal footing, nor as much opportunity to showcase their power.
Framing of the data is important, too. For instance, while vitamin D may not directly fight the influenza virus, it’s been clinically shown to be a crucial element in immune function, despite arguments against its effectiveness from Western doctors.
McBride also noted that the only flu protection option the NIH and CDC recommend is the flu shot, which reduces the risk of flu by 40 to 60% .
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Childrens Cold Medicine Dosage
If you do choose to give your child over the counter cough or cold remedies, pay close attention to ingredient labels. Just like adult formulations, childrens cough and cold medicine often contains multiple active ingredients. Be sure that you are not giving your little one multiple doses of the same ingredient, as this could be harmful. You should also avoid certain ingredients specifically. For example, products containing codeine should not be given to children under 12. If you are unsure if a particular ingredient or product is suitable for your child, the best person to ask is either your childs doctor or your pharmacist. Be sure to mention your childs age and any known health conditions your little one has so that your healthcare provider can give you accurate advice.
Genexa Homeopathic Cold Crush For Children
For parents who want to start their kids on solid medication, the Genexa Homeopathic Cold Crush for Children should be a great option. These chewable tablets effectively stop congestion, sore throat, cough, and sneezing to provide kids relief.
Although it is an effective medication for colds, the tablets require some time to take effect. This could mean that your little one will have to wait a while before experiencing any sort of relief however, once they do kick in, the tablets get the job done and teach kids how to start taking solid medication in an easy to consume form.
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Cough And Cold Remedies For Kids To Help Them Feel Better
As a parent, itâs always concerning to see your child uncomfortable with a cough. The unproductive days, the sleepless nights. And thatâs just its effect on you! You want to do everything possible to help your child feel better. But how can you know what is a safe cough medicine for kids and what is effective? Fortunately, there are numerous helpful cough remedies for kids you can use to bring back the smiles and giggles.
For children older than three months the American Academy of Pediatrics offers the following practical advice and cold symptom remedies for kids, including coughs.1
Snuggle up on the couch and play your kidâs favorite movie or TV show. Active play can trigger more coughing, so itâs best to provide a calm, comfortable environment where she can engage in quiet activities.
One of the most importance first steps for the healing process is for your child to get plenty of rest so their immune system can function at its highest efficiency.
Adequate hydration is important at all times, and even more so when resolving your kidâs cough. Water helps thin the mucus secretions so that the mucus can be efficiently cleared from the lungs. Provide plenty of non-sugary fluids, such as warm tea or broth.
A suction bulb can quickly clear your childâs congested nose allowing him to breathe more freely so he has less need to cough.
Surviving Cold And Flu Season
After your child recovers from a cold or flu, its time to go into prevention mode. Wash all surfaces they came into contact with before or during their sickness. Encourage your children and your other family members to wash their hands regularly to keep future germs at bay.
Teach your child not to share food, drinks, or utensils when they eat to avoid spreading germs between them and their friends. Keep your child out of daycare or school when theyre ill, especially when they have a fever.
The good news about cold and flu season is that it does come and go. Showing your child some loving care and taking steps to put them on the mend can help you make it through cold and flu season.
Last medically reviewed on May 31, 2019
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Its Time For A Dose: Should I Wake My Sick Child Up
One of the best common cold remedies is rest, so let your children sleep as much as they need to. If you need to skip a dose of over-the-counter medicine so that your child may sleep longer, go ahead and skip the medicine. Remember: you’ll have a chance to administer that medicine again when your child wakes up, or possibly the next morning. Take your child to a doctor if he or she has been taking an OTC medicine for four days or longer.
What Should I Do If My Child Has A Cold
Offer plenty of fluids and encourage your child to rest. Colds are caused by viruses that cannot be cured with drugs. They simply need to run their course, so there is little your doctor can offer. However, more serious problems can start out as a cold. Contact your doctor if your child shows any of the following signs:
- fever lasting more than 72 hours, or, any fever in a child less than 6 months of age
- excessive sleepiness, crankiness or fussiness
- trouble breathing
- coughing that lasts more than a week or is causing choking or vomiting
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When To Call The Pediatrician
When your child has a high fever or is dehydrated, you need to call the doctor right away. But outside of overheating and dehydration, when else should you seek medical care? Here are some guidelines:
Some situations are even more serious, and require an immediate trip to the emergency room. Go to the emergency room if your child has difficulty breathing, seems very sick, will not to eat or drink, shows signs of a rash, or anytime you are concerned.
Finding The Right Dose
Over-the-counter treatments can be a great remedy for the common cold, but exercise caution when using them. Administer OTC medication only according to the directions. Make sure you base the dosage on your child’s weight and age. And don’t forget to read the “Warnings” sections for potential side effects and drug interactions.
Also be mindful of these common abbreviations often found on labels:
- Tbsp and Tsp ,
- oz. ,
Those are all very different measurements.
Also, use the measuring device that is packaged with the medication for most accurate dosing.
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