There’s been a warning issued this week, to parents who are using Vicks VapoRub on children under the age of two.
The popular cold remedy Vicks VapoRub may cause airway inflammation that can restrict breathing in infants and toddlers, a new study says.
Doctors at Wake Forest University started their study after treating an 18-month-old girl who had developed severe respiratory distress after the salve had been put directly under her nose to relieve cold symptoms.
This is another classic case of someone not properly reading the labels of medicines before administering them to children. Vicks VapoRub is clearly labeled for ages two and above. And there’s a reason that even children’s medicines are meant for children over the age of two.
Over the counter medications can be extremely dangerous to babies and even toddlers and young children. For one, their systems are not fully developed and are not able to handle medication the way older children and adults can. Another problem is user error. Giving the proper dosage to the right age can even sometimes be confusing. Trying to halve a dosage for a younger child is just asking for trouble. So what do you do if your child is sick and in need of medication?
- Always read labels carefully before administering medications. If you have any questions call your pediatrician.
- Never administer any medication that is not of appropriate age for them, unless your pediatrician gives you the OK. Always verify the dose with the doctor and make sure you follow their directions properly. Most pediatricians won’t OK medications for children under two anyway.
- Don’t use swap prescriptions. Don’t give your baby or toddler a leftover prescription that’s meant for your older child.
- Always be sure to double check the expiration date. Giving you or your child expired drugs could also be dangerous.
- If administering homeopathic medications, always disclose all remedies to your pediatrician, so that they know that you are giving them something. Homeopathic remedies are considered safe, but you still have to be careful when giving them to younger children. Especially babies.
When it comes to medicine, use common sense. Even if your friend or your mother used a medication, and had no problems, doesn’t mean that it’s OK. New studies are released and times change. Don’t just take matters into your own hands, call the doctor. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
There are also alternative remedies out there if your baby is congested. We’ve used Nature’s Baby Organics Ah-Choo Chest Rub with great results. That said, I wouldn’t recommend this for children under the age of one. A humidifier should help with some of the congestion for smaller babies. As well as saline drops (provided your pediatrician says it’s OK first).