Kids Cough, Cold, and Flu Medicine
Many children experience coughs and other unpleasant symptoms when they have the common cold or the flu. While most children will recover from a cold on their own, some over-the-counter products can help ease symptoms while your child gets better. Products such as children’s cough syrup, decongestants, pain relievers and fever suppressants are available for purchase in stores or online at Walgreens. However, not all medicine is safe for children, and it’s important to read labels carefully and consult with your child’s healthcare provider before giving them certain medicines. It’s especially important to speak with their healthcare provider if you believe your child may have the flu or is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.
Is it safe to give children cough and cold medicine?
Some children should not take cough and cold medicine. The FDA does not recommend over-the-counter cough medicine for children under age 2, and most manufacturers do not recommend this medicine for children under age 4. Some ingredients in these medicines can cause serious side effects or overdose in young children. If you have a child under 4 years old experience cough and cold symptoms, speak with your child’s healthcare provider about the best options for treatment.
Most children between the ages of 4-12 can take over-the-counter cough and cold medicine if directed by a healthcare provider. Always read the label of these medicines carefully, and do not exceed the recommended dose for your child’s age or weight. There are many varieties of cough and cold medicines for children available, including different flavors, formulations for daytime and nighttime, and alcohol-free products. Nighttime or PM formulas usually contain ingredients such as diphenhydramine, which can cause drowsiness. If you are looking to avoid drowsiness in your child, look for non-drowsy or daytime formulations on the medicine label.
Many cough and cold medicines can also be used to relieve the symptoms of the flu, but the flu is a more serious condition in children than a cold and it’s important to ask your child’s healthcare provider about treatment if you think your child has the flu. The best way to protect adults and children over six months against the flu is with an annual flu vaccine.
Important considerations for children’s cough, cold and flu medicine
A pharmacist can help you understand which medicine may be best for your child, depending on their symptoms. Many products to treat the symptoms of coughs and colds include a measuring device for measuring doses, but an oral dosing syringe can be used if this is not available. Do not use household teaspoons to measure doses and do not leave these medicines within reach of children. Remember not to give your child more than two medicines at one time before checking with a healthcare provider.
Natural and homeopathic cough, cold and flu medicine for children
Some parents and caregivers may choose to try natural or homeopathic products before turning to other over-the-counter medications. Many of these products designed to soothe symptoms of colds and coughs are available at Walgreens. Options at Walgreens include natural products such as cough syrups, sore throat pops, sore throat sprays, and chest rubs. Ingredients in these products may include honey, elderberry, and eucalyptus. While more research is needed to determine how effective these products are in relieving cough and cold symptoms, they may be a good option for parents and caregivers who prefer natural treatments. Other treatment options available over-the-counter include saline nasal sprays and nasal aspirators, which can help flush out congestion in your child’s nose and sinuses.
Walgreens has many products available to help ease the symptoms of coughs, colds and flu in children, and a pharmacist can assist you in choosing the best option for your child. Ask a pharmacist for help in stores, or contact a pharmacist live online 24/7 using the Walgreens Pharmacy Chat.