Children's Cold Medicine: Is It Safe?

Controvery between the FDA and pediatricians, who want the agency to ban children's cold medicine, saying it's unsafe for kids under six. In a public hearing on Thursday, the FDA rejected the ban on cold medicine, saying it might drive parents to give their kids adult cold medicine instead. "There's no research showing cold medicine is a good thing. There's no research showing it's safe." Which is exactly why pediatricians like Meganne Walsh are having second thoughts about the safety of cold medicine, especially when in most cases, the virus will run it's course in a few days. The risk in cold medicine comes from the psuedo-ephedrine, which acts like adrenaline. "So it causes kids to get all hyped up. And in little kids, this can cause them to loose their appetite and lose sleep, which can make it harder for their bodies to fight off the infection." The moms we spoke with were on both sides of the aisle. Crystal Ziegler says, "As a parent, when it's late at night and my child is sick, I'm going to do whatever I have to do to help my child." Sarah Winfield says her kids are very young and "the FDA says I shouldn't give cold medicine to kids under two, so I'm not going to do it." To get rid of your child's runny nose or cough that just won't go away, you do have some other options besides medicine. "Cool mist humidifier, keep them drinking plenty of liquids, frequent hand washing. We know those methods are safe and we know they are effective." Dr. Walsh says when all else fails, don't hesitate to call your pediatrician.