Mom blog: Bye bye cough medicine, hello earplugs

How timely was this news on Thursday, that major makers of kids’ cough and cold medicines were voluntarily pulling their stuff from the shelves? That includes Triaminic, Dimetapp, Robitussin and some Tylenol products that contain cough and cold ingredients. Wow. I checked my medicine cupboard(s), and guess what?

No biggie.

No kid cough medicine. As an adult who dives for her GP’s phone number when she feel a cough coming on—I swear by codeine phosphate syrup—I have never given cough medicine to any of my three kids, no matter how horrendous they sounded. It just seemed wrong. Let a cough run its course, let the lungs and throat take care of themselves. A sippy cup or bottle of water by the bed is the only medicine.

On Tuesday afternoon, after a Thanksgiving weekend of my six year old sweating and coughing and running a low-grade fever, we went to the pediatrician. Not for a cough medicine recommendation, but for a professional listen to the chest.

I am paranoid of pneumonia and asthma, and I can’t wrangle a stethoscope at home (or afford one, either). I was thrilled that she had a student there too—two sets of ears to listen to my baby’s chest.

“His lungs are clear, Mum.”

Thank you! So we toured down to the pharmacy, got him a gumball and got his brother and sister new sets of earplugs. That’s the new sibling treatment for kids coughs; for parents, no such luck!

Maybe a bottle of water, a good DVD and a boring book instead?

Will the lack of cough medicines really throw your family off? Let us know! What will you use (or have you used) to ease a little one’s cough? Mail me and I’ll put your suggestions together with some research by the end of this week. Folk remedies most welcome!

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2 Responses

  1. Well, as an adult I can say that cough syrups never worked for me. Actually, last winter I had a bad cough that the husband was complaining about (not because he was worried about my health, because he couldn’t stand the sound). It was so bad I went to the doctor because I wasn’t sleeping at night. The ‘scrip? Codeine cough syrup. Did it work? Nope. It just made me strung out all night. And when I was a kid they didn’t work either…maybe it’s just me?

  2. Maybe it’s something left over from the home country in the Mediterranean, but my grandmother swore that grapes were good for the throat.

    When her kids and grandkids had a cough, she’d make a concoction of a cup of grape juice mixed with a tablespoon of honey. Sometimes it was warm. Sometimes it was ice cold. We’d also have all the grapes we could eat.

    Adults, though, were given a tumbler of red wine. The alcohol will kill the germs, she argued, and if you got a nice nap out of it, you’re par for the course!

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