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Video:Learn About Children's Cold Medicines

with Dr. Roy Benaroch

Children's cold medicines are not necessarily as effective as you think. Watch this About.com video for a pediatrician's advice on children's cold medicines and whether this treatment option is best for you and your child.See Transcript

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Transcript:Learn About Children's Cold Medicines

Hi I'm Dr. Roy Benaroch I’m a pediatrician in private practice near Atlanta, Ga. in Roswell and we are here at About.com to talk about the benefits and dangers of using over-the-counter children's cold medicines.

Effectiveness of Children's Cold Medicines

Well there really are very, very few benefits in children. These products haven't been shown to work in children. They don't really make the symptoms of a cold any better. The claims made on the packaging are more a matter of hype and trying to sell something to the parents. Parents feel really bad when their kid has a cold and they're sometimes willing to try anything. Unfortunately, the products don't usually work very well.

Side Effects of Children's Cold Medicines

And not only do they not work but they can be dangerous. Some of these products can cause increases in blood pressure and pulse and potentially trigger heart rhythm problems. Others can cause excessive drowsiness, urinary retention or weird psychological effects. Some kids get very very irritable, upset or scared. Manufacturers do not recommend using these products at all under age 4. If you do try them, be very careful about following the exact instructions measuring the dose accurately. Most toxic reactions occur after unintentional overdose. 

Do Not Combine Children's Cold Medicines

Also keep in mind that different products contain similar ingredients, and it is a very, very bad idea to combine them. You may not realize it but one cold product from one manufacturer might have the exact same ingredients as another cold product and if you give them at the same time you can have unintentional double dose. So look at the package very very closely, read the label and follow those instructions exactly. This has been Dr. Roy Benaroch. Thanks for watching. For more information, visit About.com.

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