Around our house, with kids eight and four, colds and coughs seem to be almost an every month occurence. We try a vaporizer, and the kids are also on allergy medicine that we use only because we think the cough is more dangerous than the cure. We used to also give them some version of dextromorphan, commonly found in most over the counter cough medicines. I didn’t love that idea, but it seemed to be a drug of last resort and did get them to sleep. Last fall, though, the FDA recommended a ban on dextromorphan. Our pediatrician didn’t like it much either, though she thought it did a good job at putting the kids to sleep. My daughter hates the stuff, despite the way they try to hide the taste behind sickly-sweet grape flavoring.
Finally, though, some good news for kids and non-medicine medicine. As reported in the New York Times:
Honey has well-established antioxidant and antimicrobial effects, and it might be that sweet substances of any kind help dissolve mucus in the airways and soothe the back of the throat.
In October, a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel recommended a ban on over-the-counter cold medicine, including some brands containing dextromethorphan, intended for children under age 6.
My daughter has a cold again tonight so I just made her two cups of lemon and honey mixed in hot water like tea. It didn’t make the cough go away magically, but she is fast asleep, and I’m feeling a little bit better that I didn’t have to make her drink some grape-flavored chemical.