In the past, over the counter cough medications were thought to be a safe way to relieve respiratory symptoms in children; however, researchers now know that they can be risky to give to children under 6 years of age. In most children, these medications cause hyperactivity, irritability, excessive sleepiness, and lethargy. And, they really do nothing at all to shorten the duration of the illness or relieve the symptoms.
Today, doctors recommend that over the counter cough medications not be given to children under age 6, but to use alternative home remedies to provide relief. A humidifier placed in your child’s room will help to sooth the chest pain and make it easier for your child to breath. Alternatively, there are versions of cough relievers which contain only glycerol, glycerine or liquid sugar – these can be suitable for children from 3 months. Ask for advice at your pharmacy.
If your child has fever, it is safe to give him the proper dosage of a children’s pain reliever, like paracetamol or ibuprofen. Remember, never give a child aspirin as it is commonly linked to Reye’s syndrome, a disease that is rare, but potentially fatal. Avoid ibuprofen if your child has asthma.