ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Parents should avoid cough syrups for poorly children and give them homemade honey and lemon instead, a senior Child Specialist Dr Yaqoob Qazi said on Thursday.
The Child Specialist warned that over-the-counter medicines could be toxic if consumed in large doses as children under the age of six are particularly at risk.
Dr Yaqoob Qazi further said that most coughs and colds in children will be caused by a viral infection which will get better without antibiotics and with rest.
A lot of parents find the symptom of cough troublesome, particularly as it can persist for several weeks after the infection has gone, and worry that it is damaging their child in some way, adding, most of the time it is more of an annoyance than actually causing any real harm.
However, for children under 6 years of age, only give them simple homemade preparations such as glycerin, honey, and lemon. Do not give children who are younger than 6 years old cough medicines with any of the active ingredients listed above (antitussive, expectorants, antihistamines, or decongestants), highlighted.
Expert advised parents would be stick to old fashioned honey and lemon, rest, lots of fluids and paracetamol or ibuprofen as per the pack instructions and, if symptoms persist beyond a few days or there are other worrying signs, consult to medical experts.
Kids with sleep apnea are considered “ultra-rapid metabolizers” so they could encounter severe risks. They “may experience severely slowed breathing rates or even die after taking standard doses of codeine,” the expert warn.
Kids could grapple with excessive sleepiness and trouble breathing in less serious cases, too, he added.
Better education of parents and doctors is needed, along with additional research on risks and benefits of cough syrups for children, he says.