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How to keep your kids healthy through the cold and flu season . . . naturally!
Tis the Season
Winter season is here and once again my office is filled with coughs and runny noses. As a pediatrician I expect to be busier than ever for the next few months. And while having a busy office can be a good thing for any self-employed physician, to be honest, this isn’t the kind of extra business I like to see. Parents bring in their sick kids, hoping that nothing is seriously wrong, yet wanting me to at least offer some type of relief. I don’t know who I feel sorrier for – the child who has to suffer through the symptoms or the parent who has to stay awake all night listening to those symptoms night after night. Well, at least parents can give their child a nice dose of nighttime cold and cough medicine so that the parents can get a good night’s sleep . . . oh, and also so the child can feel better, right? Wrong.
Last year the FDA decided that over-the-counter cough and cold medicines should no longer be used for infants and toddlers under 2 years of age because of possible severe side effects and a lack of evidence that they actually work. Just this week, in response to the FDA’s ongoing investigation which has found little evidence that these drugs work, manufacturers have voluntarily decided to change their labeling and advice for children, and state that the drugs should not be given to children under 4.
Pediatricians still support recalling the medicines for children under 6, and the Food and Drug Administration is studying their effectiveness for children under 12. Unfortunately, it may take them a year or more to make a final decision and order changes.
The problem with Current Cough and Cold Meds
Why, after so many years of routine use, did the FDA snatch these life-saving remedies (well, not life-saving, but at least “night-saving”) out of the hands of desperate parents? First, there have been an alarming number of harmful and even fatal reactions from these meds. Most of these reactions are due to misuse of the products. Parents often mix several cold and cough meds together and don’t realize they are overlapping the same ingredients. Or they are simply guessing how much they should give their baby when the label doesn’t specify an infant dose. However, some severe and fatal reactions have even occurred with seemingly proper dosing.
What about antibiotics? After a week or two of illness, many parents will bring their child to the doctor hoping for antibiotics to help them get over the illness. The problem is, unless there are a few days of fever and worsening symptoms a couple weeks into such an illness, antibiotics are probably not going to help and medical policy makers have advised doctors to stop using antibiotics for routine, uncomplicated sinus infections and mild ear infections.
Keeping kids healthy requires diligence during the fall and winter months. Here is what I recommend:
Sinupret for Kids is a natural product that I have found to be very effective at supporting the sinus, respiratory, and immune systems. It is not a drug, but a plant-based remedy that has been used in Europe for decades and is now available in the U.S. The active ingredients are an all-natural combination of 5 plants that have been studied extensively and have a long track record of safety in Europe and around the world. Sinupret promotes healthy drainage in the upper respiratory tract, improves airflow in the nose and supports healthy mucous clearance from the nose and sinuses. Visit www.SunupretForKids.com for more information.