Hands-Off Cold Season?

Kids get 6 to 8 colds a year.

New research now says the best medicine for a child’s common cold?
Nearly nothing at all.


The Basics:

  • British Medical Journal review.
  • Researchers weighed risks and effectiveness of over-the-counter medicines for adults and children.
  • Conclusions: Children showed no clear improvement from ANY medications (or alternative treatments like honey or Vitamin C) except for “saline nasal irrigation.”

“The bottom line is that for all of the over-the-counter cough and cold medications, there is limited to no evidence of efficacy for any cold symptoms, particularly in those under 6 years.”

Dr. Ian Paul, professor of pediatrics at Penn State College of Medicine, reacting to the research. Since 2007 he's studied cold treatments for children and his research showed that a dose of “buckwheat honey" 30 minutes before bed, often had the best results for children (and their parents).

How Do You Know When A Cold Is A Cold?

“A common cold tends to have symptoms from neck up.”

Dr. Darria, MD, Mom & Author of the upcoming book "Mom Hacks" says "If your child has a really high fever, if they're acting lethargic, if they have significant pain in any one spot (sore throat, ear pain), those suggest something more than a common cold."

SmartHER Tips

What Dr. Darria Does:

  • Nasal saline rinse & suction.
  • A teaspoon of honey (for children over a year old) at bedtime.
  • Cold mist humidifier.
  • Breathing cold air (outside or from the freezer) can help reduce swelling & soothe children.
  • Treat fever as needed (Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen).

Adults get on avg. 2 to 4 colds a year & the British Medical Journal review showed adults benefited *somewhat* from antihistamines & decongestants. Check out our source page for a very cool graphic by the British Medical Journal that shows what works and what doesn’t

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