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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

How tempting is Benedryl to make a kid sleep?



liquidmedicine.jpgOK folks, confess. You've got a long flight and snarky child-free passengers shooting you daggers as you lug a toddler on the plane. Is giving Benadryl for a plane flight or to overcome insomnia really "drugging" your child? It is an approved over-the-counter medication and most people wouldn't think twice to give it to their child if they had hives or allergies, so some don't consider it "drugging" their child. But still, how far would you go if your child had been having trouble sleeping or you really needed him to take that nap? If Benadryl didn't work, would you hit up something stronger like Valium?

Our medical reporer Richard Martin reports in this story about diphenhydramine, and the common, yet controversial practice of parents giving it to their children as a way to help them sleep. Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine that’s contained in dozens of popular medications including Benadryl, Advil PM, Robitussin Night Time and Sominex. It’s also in the children’s versions of Benadryl and Tylenol.

On one hand, labeling on these products warns against using them to make a child sleepy. Yet doctors do prescribe medications, including antihistamines, to treat childrens’ sleep disorders.

Have any of you given, or have thought about giving your child Benadryl or a similar product to help them fall asleep? If you'd like to weigh in for his story, contact health reporter Richard Martin at [email protected] or at (813) 226-3322.

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[Last modified: Thursday, September 15, 2011 5:16pm]


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