11 doctors weighed in:

Is it safe to give my baby cold or cough medicine?

11 doctors weighed in
Dr. Lisa Roberts
Pediatrics
4 doctors agree

In brief: No

Most children under 5 years of age (definitely under 2) should not take cold medications.
Exceptions may be made for some cough medicines under the guidance of your physician. In general, this is because there may be serious side effects to those medicines in young babies (and oftentimes they do not work). Try saline and a humidifier. Honey if your child is over 1 may also be beneficial.

In brief: No

Most children under 5 years of age (definitely under 2) should not take cold medications.
Exceptions may be made for some cough medicines under the guidance of your physician. In general, this is because there may be serious side effects to those medicines in young babies (and oftentimes they do not work). Try saline and a humidifier. Honey if your child is over 1 may also be beneficial.
Dr. Lisa Roberts
Dr. Lisa Roberts
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Dr. Roy Benaroch
Pediatrics
2 doctors agree

In brief: No

Cough and cold medicines aren't for babies-- they don't work, and even worse: they're not safe.

In brief: No

Cough and cold medicines aren't for babies-- they don't work, and even worse: they're not safe.
Dr. Roy Benaroch
Dr. Roy Benaroch
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1 doctor agrees

In brief: 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). But over the counter cough and cold medications are dangerous in children less than 6 years old.

In brief: 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). But over the counter cough and cold medications are dangerous in children less than 6 years old.
Dr. Kathleen Forcier
Dr. Kathleen Forcier
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Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics

In brief: No

Years ago, it was common for 3-12 month old babies to take cold or cough medicines.
These medicines were smaller doses of adult cold medicines. Research has found that these medicines often did not relieve babies' symptoms, and that some babies were getting excessive doses, sometimes harming the babies. Nowadays, the fda and physicians do not want babies to use cold or cough medicines.

In brief: No

Years ago, it was common for 3-12 month old babies to take cold or cough medicines.
These medicines were smaller doses of adult cold medicines. Research has found that these medicines often did not relieve babies' symptoms, and that some babies were getting excessive doses, sometimes harming the babies. Nowadays, the fda and physicians do not want babies to use cold or cough medicines.
Dr. Robert Kwok
Dr. Robert Kwok
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Dr. Pamela Lindor
Pediatrics

In brief: No

Not really. Cough and cold medicine has many side effects, is not well tested in babies, and is difficult to dose.
It does not treat the cold or help it get better any faster. Because of the risks, most pediatricians do not recommend these for young children.

In brief: No

Not really. Cough and cold medicine has many side effects, is not well tested in babies, and is difficult to dose.
It does not treat the cold or help it get better any faster. Because of the risks, most pediatricians do not recommend these for young children.
Dr. Pamela Lindor
Dr. Pamela Lindor
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