Pediatrics Corner

Pediatrics Corner

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Office Hours

(By Appointment)

Mon    8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Tue     8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Wed    8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Thu     8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Frid     8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Sat and Sun  Closed

 

Quest Lab hours:     Mon-Fri 7:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Coughs and Colds

Coughs and Colds

 

Colds are caused by viruses and sadly there are no medications to kill these viruses. People often request an antibiotic for a cold but these medications only work on bacterial infections and will not help or cure a cold. Most colds last 7-10 days. In your child, symptoms may present as the following:

  • Runny nose
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Poor sleep
  • Decreased appetite
  • Fussiness

 

At Capital Family Practice we do not recommend the use of over-the-counter cough and cold medicines in children under the age of 6 and are cautious about their use children aged 6-11.  This is in agreement with the American Academy of Pediatrics guidance. http://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/ear-nose-throat/pages/Coughs-and-Colds-Medicines-or-Home-Remedies.aspx and FDA safety information http://www.fda.gov/drugs/drugsafety/postmarketdrugsafetyinformationforpatientsandproviders/drugsafetyinformationforheathcareprofessionals/publichealthadvisories/ucm051137.htm

 

The FDA has posted an advisory against giving children under the age of 2 any over-the-counter cough and cold medicine because of concerns regarding serious side effects. With regards to the safety of these medications for children aged 2-11 years, the FDA is still working on a comprehensive review and has not endorsed these medications as completely safe. The following are FDA recommendations when your child is old enough for medication.

 

  • Check the active ingredients and understand what symptom each ingredient treats since many medications treat more than one. Examples are antihistamine, decongestant, cough suppressant, expectorant or pain reliever.
  • Carefully follow the directions on the label.
  • Only use the measuring spoon, cup or syringe that came with the medication.
  • Make sure the medication has a child safety cap and store out of a child’s reach.
  • Understand that these medications treat symptoms, possibly providing relief, and do not treat the cause.

 

What to Do for Your Child -

 

For cough and nasal congestion or runny nose

  • For the younger child use saline nose drops and nasal suctioning.
  • For the older child use saline nose drops and nose blowing. This will loosen and thin mucus and make clearing the nose easier.
  • At night elevate the head of the bed to help drain nasal congestion. Try a thick book under the mattress for the younger child or an extra pillow for the older child.
  • Running a vaporizer at night is also very helpful for cough and congestion.
  • Encourage liquids.

 

For Fever - Tylenol (acetaminophen) and Motrin/Advil (ibuprofen) help if the fever is above 101. See our dosing guide for further details.

 

Margaret Fritts, FNPC