As winter approaches, many parents brace for cold and flu season. Younger children usually get it at least. Six flus a year.

In previous generations, parents may have reached for cough syrup to relieve a dry or chesty cough.

But now we know cough syrup They are not very effective Treating children’s cough.

and between Proof of damage Because of poisonings and deaths, many countries, including Australia, have restricted cough medicines from being given to children under the age of six.

What’s in Cough Medicine?

Active ingredients in cough syrups vary according to their claims. They may contain cough suppressants (which weaken the body’s cough reflex), expectorants, and mucolytics (both of which help clear sputum).

Other cold and flu medications often contain antihistamines (to relieve stuffy nose) and antihistamines to help relieve sneezing, stop a runny nose, and help you sleep.

The most dangerous drugs are a Remedial actionsuch as antihistamines or opioid-based cough suppressants. While sedation may be the desired outcome for parents of sleep-deprived children, young children in particular are at risk of serious injury or death. Sedatives can cause agitation and hyperactivity.

Although cough syrups without sedatives are safer, there are very few studies on the safety and effectiveness of these products in children. including adverse events agitation and psychosis In particular, it has been reported regarding excessive use.

Overuse can occur from parents misreading the label, deliberately hoping for more, unknowingly taking extra doses, and using inaccurate measuring devices such as household spoons.

How is cough syrup prescribed?

Children under two years old A very dangerous overdose Cough syrup. But the Australian drug regulator He advises against it. Use of cough syrup for everyone under six years of age.

Therefore, there are no dosage instructions for children under the age of six on the labels of these products.

Cough syrup is still available for older children and adults. Pharmacists will ask the age of the person taking it and provide guidance on dosing and appropriate use.

Our research, published today in Australian Medical JournalLimiting cough and cold medications in children results in a significant and sustained reduction in toxicity.

Our research looked at dosing errors, under-reporting of side effects, and accidental “exploratory withdrawals,” such as a child helping himself to the medicine cabinet.

The government has mandated labeling changes for these products in 2012 and 2020.

In the year In 2012, labels for cough and cold products could no longer list medication instructions for children under the age of six, and had to carry additional warnings.

In the year In 2020, warnings were issued that antihistamines should not be used in children under two years of age. Any Cause (including allergies and hay fever).

This has halved the number of poison center calls and halved the number of hospitalizations. Despite this, hundreds of calls are still made to Australian poison centers each year about these products in young children.

When to use cough syrup?

Injuries are mostly recorded in young children. This may be due to their smaller size, which means less medication to cause damage, and their developing brains are less susceptible to sedative effects.

Cough syrup can be used for children aged six to 11 years Still need to be careful. These products should only be given in consultation with a doctor, pharmacist or nurse.

Some herbal products are available and marketed for children, e.g Ivy Helix (ivy leaf extract). Unfortunately, there is no convincing evidence for these drugs Significant improvement in cough symptoms. But the risk of poisoning is small.

Simple syrups without any drugs can also be effective: Up to 85 percent efficiency Cough medicines are put to the “placebo effect”.

This is because the syrup coats the throat and dries up that annoying tick.

So what can I do for my child?

The best thing you can do for your child is rest and relaxation.

Antibiotics are only needed if a doctor makes a diagnosis. Acute bacterial pneumonia or chronic cough due to chronic bacterial bronchitis, whooping cough or bacterial infection Lung inflammation.

Paracetamol or Ibuprofen can be used with fever, aches and pains and a cough. Check the package for the correct size for your child’s weight and age.

If your child is over 12 months old and has a wet cough (which produces phlegm in the throat), give them honey. There is growing evidence. Honey can reduce mucus production And so, the amount of coughing.The conversation

Rose CairnsMaster in Pharmacy, University of Sydney And Niall WheatAssociate Professor, Sydney School of Pharmacy; University of Sydney.

This article was reprinted from The conversation Under a Creative Commons license. Read Original text.

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