8 doctors weighed in:
Is it safe to use Vicks vapor rub on a baby?
8 doctors weighed in

David Miller
Family Medicine
4 doctors agree
In brief: Baby vicks
There is a special formulation for babies and kiddos.
Try putting it on the bottoms of their feet and then putting on thin socks so they don't get it everywhere. There is also a nice night-light/vaporizer that uses little medicated pads to spread the vapors around the room.

In brief: Baby vicks
There is a special formulation for babies and kiddos.
Try putting it on the bottoms of their feet and then putting on thin socks so they don't get it everywhere. There is also a nice night-light/vaporizer that uses little medicated pads to spread the vapors around the room.
David Miller
David Miller
Answer assisted by David Miller, Medical Student
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1 comment
David Miller
You're welcome. I learned that from an old pediatrician I trained under.
Dr. Joseph Eastern
Dermatology
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Probably
My mother was a huge vicks fan; anytime my nose was close to running, i got dipped in a big vat of vicks and slid into bed like a salami -- and i'm still here, so i suppose it's okay.
Whether or not it actually helped, or just made my mom feel better, is another question.

In brief: Probably
My mother was a huge vicks fan; anytime my nose was close to running, i got dipped in a big vat of vicks and slid into bed like a salami -- and i'm still here, so i suppose it's okay.
Whether or not it actually helped, or just made my mom feel better, is another question.
Dr. Joseph Eastern
Dr. Joseph Eastern
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1 comment
David Miller
What a great answer!
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics
In brief: Archaic practice
The native Americans used pine pitch to scent the steam in their sweat lodges.
Vicks perpetuates the process and for older kids/adults it may have benefit.The tiny nostrils of babies will react to any fragrance as they would with smoke or dust.It produces nasal congestion and increases work of breathing. I never recommend it in infants, no mater what mom or grandma did.

In brief: Archaic practice
The native Americans used pine pitch to scent the steam in their sweat lodges.
Vicks perpetuates the process and for older kids/adults it may have benefit.The tiny nostrils of babies will react to any fragrance as they would with smoke or dust.It produces nasal congestion and increases work of breathing. I never recommend it in infants, no mater what mom or grandma did.
Dr. James Ferguson
Dr. James Ferguson
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1 comment
Dr. Joseph Eastern
With all respect, the idea that it might worsen congestion in babies rather than improve it is based on one study out of Wake Forest involving one patient. That said, the Vicks label does say that the product should not be used on children under 2 or in the nostrils, because there are no studies proving it safe in those situations.
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