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Cough and Cold Remedies Can Kill Your Infant

Not only are over-the-counter (OTC) cold and cough medications no better in effectiveness than a placebo, they can send your small children to the hospital or, worse still, kill them, according to a health report issued yesterday by the CDC.

Over a two-year period (2004-05), more than 1,500 babies and toddlers made trips to emergency rooms across the United States due to bad reactions to cold and cough medicines. Moreover, three of those babies who were no more than 6 months old died because they were exposed up to 14 times the safe dosage of pseudoephedrine (commonly known as Sudafed) contained in OTC drugs.

Granted, there's no predetermined dose of OTC cold and cough meds that can be deadly to a child, but even the conservative American Academy of Pediatrics began advising against their use a decade ago and other health organizations have followed suit since then.

It's far better for the long-term health of your children to address their colds and coughs more sensibly, safely and gently, and to avoid the many myths associated with them.

USA Today January 11, 2007