The Right Dose The latest on children’s over-the-counter medications

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WHEN YOUR child is coughing or running a fever, you’ll try just about anything to put a smile back on his face. We asked Kim Benner, Pharm.D., a pediatric clinical pharmacy specialist at Children’s Health System in Birmingham, AL, to advise parents about when to turn to OTC medications.

PARENT & CHILD: The news about children’s OTC cough and cold medications seems to change often. What’s the latest?
KIM BENNER: Use caution. Package labels state that these medicines should not be given to children younger than age 4, but some organizations recommend that children younger than 6 avoid them. There have been issues with cough and cold medication overdoses in children. Experts have also found that they don’t necessarily improve symptoms. A cold is going to run its course with or without drugs.

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