Cold Medicines


Say No to Cold Medicine, Yes to Honey

coldmedicinesHave you been up half the night with your toddler, who came home from daycare with the latest flu bug and can't sleep due to a nasty cough and stuffy nose? So you head to your medicine cabinet, which is stocked with all sorts of over-the-counter cough and cold remedies. Which one do they choose? Of course, the answer is none. 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a public health advisory recommending that over-the-counter cough and cold products not be given to infants and children under two years of age because of serious and potentially life-threatening side effects that can occur. Where do parents turn when their infant or toddler has the sniffles or a cough?

A recent study suggests that a natural alternative commonly found in the kitchen could provide children - and parents - with much-needed relief. The study, published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, found that parents rated honey most favorably for symptomatic relief of their child's nocturnal cough and sleep difficulty because of a cough due to an upper respiratory tract infection.

One hundred five children ages 2- to 18-years-old with upper respiratory tract infections were given either a single dose of buckwheat honey, honey-flavored dextromethorphan (a common ingredient in many over-the-counter cold medications), or no treatment at all 30 minutes prior to bedtime. A dose of honey consistently scored the best while no treatment scored the worst.

You probably won't have to do much convincing to get your child to swallow it. It's not a spoonful of sugar, but a spoonful of honey is certainly better than over-the-counter medicine when dealing with a nasty cough.