When Is a Cough a Big Deal?
Coughs are hard for parents of babies and very young kids. Without any real language ability, little kids are often consigned to sleepless suffering – and their parents share the burden with them.
Most parents instinctively reach for medicine; every year, millions of parents search for “baby doses” for common OTC medications, even if the label specifically prohibits any dosage for very young kids.
The FDA has warned against this practice on numerous occasions, for reasons ranging from the possibility of overdose to the paucity of scientific studies testing these drugs on babies and toddlers. Ultimately the advice is simple:
If your baby is up late at night with a stuffy nose and a miserable cough, check with your pediatrician before buying and administering any kind of cold medicine. Always read the dosages and warnings on the labels carefully, and always administer medications using a graduated syringe or measuring device supplied with the medication – never a teaspoon or tablespoon.
Babies are tougher than most of us realize, and often one or two sleepless nights produces a lot of misery, but no real danger. If you can roll with that misery, you can help your children in many more effective ways, from cool mist humidifiers, to keeping the child propped up and comfortable, to suctioning out their oses when congestion gets severe.