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Ask an Expert: Should I give my 10-month-old cough medicine?


I have a 10-month-old who often gets colds from day care, etc. When he gets these colds he tends to cough at night. I have been giving him Tylenol Cold and Cough, but recently in the news they are saying that you should not give this to children under the age of 2. So, is this true, and will it hurt since he has had it in the past? What do they suggest for the cough so that he can sleep at night? Often he coughs so much he ends up vomiting.

One of the main reasons that we no longer recommend cough and cold medicine is that studies show that it does no good. I don’t think you need to worry that you have done any harm to your child by giving it in the past. There have been children who have been overdosed on cough and cold medicine – another reason not to give it. Sometimes children who have excessive coughing with colds, actually have a mild form of asthma. You might ask your child’s doctor, the next time you are in the office, if she/he thinks your child might have some mild asthma.

Answered by Doug Gamet MD, Pediatrics

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