Scientists in the US are claiming that giving kids fake medicine could effectively treat a cough.


With experts previously urging parents not to treat coughs and colds, a team of researchers at Penn State College of Medicine decided to investigate the merits of the advice.


In a study carried out across 119 children with severe coughs, the scientists compared the results of giving children a cough syrup, a placebo consisting of grape-flavoured water and caramel, and no treatment at all.


According to their findings, the children who received the cough syrup and the placebo demonstrated significant improvements.


Now the scientists are saying that their study proves that no treatment at all is not helpful to soothe a cough, and that even a sweet ‘fake’ medicine could help the ailment.


Lead researcher Dr Ian Paul said: “It is possible that giving a sweet liquid placebo is preferred for families and children than doing nothing or, even worse, taking an unnecessary antibiotic.”


This certainly provides food for thought. What are your opinions on the best approach to treating a cough?