Avoid OTC cough meds for kids

Fall really hasn't set in here yet (temps are still close to summer-like numbers). But with school back in session, the cough and cold season has definitely returned. Everyday I hear of kids' coughs and fevers and other respiratory symptoms.

Also, everyday, I hear questions of what to give kids less than 2 years old for these symptoms. Apparently, according to the FDA, avoid over the counter cough meds in these kids (ABC News).

In a report released last week, safety experts within the Food and Drug Administration said they would recommend NO level of dosage for children under the age of two, "due to the lack of evidence of efficacy and safety concerns."

"There are a variety of problems that can occur, and there have been some deaths associated with cough and cold preparations," says Dr. Janet Serwint, who signed a petition, asking the FDA to warn parents about the dangers of these medicines.

Even more amazing, the industry itself — while insisting its medicines are safe — now agrees they should not be given to very young children.

"Parents should not use these products for children under 2," says Linda Suydam, president of the Consumers Healthcare Products Association.

Last week, I was asked about these types of medicines for kids under 2 years old, and I related the FDA concerns. The parent then told me, "Then, you expect my child to cough all night? There's got to be something to give him to bring the stuff up, right? How about an antibiotic?"

I predict that with this FDA advisory and subsequent news reports - that docs will be pressured even more to give kids antibiotics for what seems to be viral infections. I'm telling docs out there (including myself) - Stand your ground!

If you think your patient (whether they be a child or adult) doesn't require an antibiotic, then say so. It's going to be difficult (I go through this everyday), but I know you can do it!