Really, no one should take them, they do no good and only mask symptoms. Cold medicine for children is downright harmful:
This is good advice. Another piece of advice: nurse your children as long as possible. It will loosen mucous, the mother produces antibodies to the virus the child is fighting, the jaw motion helps keep the ear canal unplugged and the baby/toddler will nurse when it wouldn't eat so the baby doesn't get dehydrated.
The reason: There's no evidence that these oral drugs actually ease cold symptoms in children so young — some studies suggest they do no good at all. And while serious side effects are fairly rare, they do occur. Indeed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last year reported that more than 1,500 babies and toddlers wound up in emergency rooms over a two-year period because of the drugs.
"It's one thing if you're curing cancer, but we're talking about a self-limiting illness," said Sharfstein. "If there's really no evidence of benefit, you don't want to risk the rare problem. Then you're left with tragedy that you can't justify."
Specialists are back to recommending old-fashioned steps, such as plenty of fluids and rest, saline drops to loosen stuffy noses, and humidifiers while sleeping.