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A member asked:

can i give my baby over-the-counter medication for a cold?

18 doctor answers31 doctors weighed in
Dr. Marcus Degraw
Pediatrics 22 years experience
No: Cold medications are no longer fda approved for children under the age of 4 years old. This had more to do with overdosing, poor packaging and parental mistakes in giving the medication than anything, but none the less they are not available for that age bracket anymore and should be avoided.
Dr. Anatoly Belilovsky
Pediatrics 35 years experience
No: Except for saline nose drops and (possibly) guaifenesin, they are useless, with potential for harm.
Dr. Pamela Lindor
Pediatrics 32 years experience
No: Children under two should not be given over-the-counter cold medications for several reasons: they are not effective in treating the cold, they can cause side effects, and they are easy to mis dose. If your baby has a cold which is causing serious problems with sleep, eating, breathing, or causing pain, have him/her seen by your pediatrician.
Dr. Mark Diamond
Pediatrics 46 years experience
No: Recent research has turned up a small number of tragic complications apparently from these medications. Unfortunately most have never been tested in young children for effectiveness or safety. Thus no cough/cold medications are acceptable under the age of 6 years old ( and maybe even under 12. ). It just is not worth the risk.
Dr. Kathleen Forcier
Specializes in General Practice
No: Plain Acetaminophen (tylenol) can be used for pain or fever (call your doctor first if your baby is less than 3 months). If your child is older than 6 months you can also use Ibuprofen (advil/motrin). In kids over 12 months you can try a teaspoon of honey to help with cough, especially at night. But over-the-counter cough and cold medications are dangerous in children less than 6 years old.
Dr. Lisa Roberts
Pediatrics 23 years experience
No: It's best to avoid OTC cold medicines as they may have bad side effects in young children. In addition, many of them do not seem to work well in young babies anyway so it's not worth taking any risks. Try saline nasal spray and a cool-mist humidifier instead. Upright positioning while sleeping may also be beneficial. Tlc and lots of fluids go a long way as well!
Dr. Lawrence Rosen
Pediatrics 28 years experience
No: Well, technically, you can, but i would advise against. There are strategies like using nasal saline and suctioning, that may help with cold symptoms in babies, but in general, most colds will resolve in 3-10 days without intervention. If your baby has significant fever, is under 2 months old, or is coughing persistently, you should seek medical attention.
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 33 years experience
No: Most cold medicines are not recommended for 3-12 month olds. Tylenol (acetaminophen) drops can be used if there is mild fever and/or mild fussiness (motrin can be used for babies over 6 months). Be sure to talk to or see the doctor if fever or fussiness lasts more than 3 days, if there is high fever (>102 degrees), if the baby won't eat, or if the baby is looking in pain / too tired / too cranky / or too pale.
Dr. Arthur Torre
Pediatric Allergy and Asthma 51 years experience
No: The latest research demonstrates no significant difference for cold symptoms or how long the cold will last whether or not babies get cold medications. And some babies have been harmed by these medicines. So the latest information says to avoid over-the-counter medications for cold in a baby.
Dr. Victoria Acharya
Specializes in Pediatrics
No: All over-the-counter cough and cold meds under 2 years were pulled off the market by the fda after some deaths, and are not recommended for under 6. These medicines don't work anyway, probably until children have more of an adult metabolism. Symptomatic measures (saline nasal drops, bulb suctioning, possibly menthol rubs) and time, plus lots of fluids and cuddling, work best and are safest.
Dr. Cory Annis
Internal Medicine and Pediatrics 29 years experience
No: The brains and kidneys of babies and toddlers are still growing and changing very rapidly. Medicines, especially combination medicines like cold preps, can effect these little "moving targets" very differently from adults and older children. Talk to your doctor about the best recommendations for your child's stage of development. One size does not fit all.
Dr. Kevin Windisch
Pediatrics 25 years experience
No: There are no over-the-counter cough or cold medication for children under 4 years of age.
Dr. Jay Park
Dr. Jay Parkanswered
Pediatrics 50 years experience
Yes: In terms of relieving runny/stuffy nose, the over-the-counter/prescription cold medications in general has not been proven any better when compared to nonpharmacological treatments, i.e., nasal suctioning combined with humidifier in children under two years old. Prescibing cough syrup with dm(dextromethorphan) seems rational if coughing is so frequent to disturb sleep or feeding in young children.
Dr. Julia Sundel
Pediatrics 18 years experience
No: Over the counter cough and cold syrup should not be given to children under 6. They have not been proven to be effective and can cause side effects such as disturbed sleep and allergic reactions. Safe medicines include infant tylenol, (acetaminophen) Motrin (if your baby is 6 months or older) and saline nasal drops. Try a humidifier or vaporizer as well.
Dr. Irwin Berkowitz
Specializes in Pediatrics
No: Otc medications have not been found effective in the treatment of colds. They may even be dangerous for young children possibly affecting their hearts.
Dr. Patricia Vuguin
Pediatrics 33 years experience
No: Never use any medicine that has not be prescribe by the doctor.
Dr. Kevin Considine
Family Medicine 30 years experience
No, Not Recommended: Cold medicines otc under 4 and esp. Under the age of 2 are not recommended. In fact, in young children they could cause significant harm but certainly not any real benefit.
Dr. Kevin Considine
Family Medicine 30 years experience
Provided original answer
Hmmm... I haven't heard of it yet. but I can check on it.
Feb 13, 2012
Dr. Mark Diamond
Pediatrics 46 years experience
Generally No: Due to recently discovered potentially tragic side effects of these things, it is recommended that no otc colds meds be given under 6 yrs/age. Some experts even recommend none until 12 yrs of age.Remember, these only, at best, gave comfort, not cures.Saline drops always appear safe as is a vaporizer. Better safe than sorry. If necessary, call your pediatrician.

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A 31-year-old member asked:

If I shave my babys lanugo, will it grow back even faster?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
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