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How to fight a child's cold without cold medicine



Because of new guidelines that children under 4 should not be given over-the-counter cough and cold remedies, government officials have expressed some concern that parents might consider giving their children smaller dosages of adult medicines. That's a dangerous, and potentially fatal, mistake. Some non-drug options, from the American Academy of Pediatrics' Parenting Corner:

To relieve a stuffy nose: Use saline nose drops to thin nasal discharge. Place a few drops of the saline into each nostril followed by gentle bulb suction. This works best for babies younger than 3 months. Use a cool-mist humidifier in your child's room. That might help clear your child's nasal passages and chest congestion.

To relieve chest congestion: Chest physical therapy can loosen mucus and may help young children cough it out. Lay your child across your knees, face down; cup your hand; and gently tap your child's back. Or sit your child on your lap, lean her forward about 30 degrees, cup your hand and gently tap her back.

To relieve a cough: Try a half-teaspoon of honey for children ages 2 to 5, 1 teaspoon for children ages 6 to 11 and 2 teaspoons for children 12 and older. If honey is given at bedtime, make sure you brush your child's teeth afterward. Also, it's not safe to give honey to babies younger than 1.

To relieve a fever: Give acetaminophen to a baby 6 months or younger. Give either acetaminophen or ibuprofen to a child older than 6 months. Do not give aspirin because it has been associated with Reye's syndrome, a rare but very serious illness.

By the numbers

An online poll gauging thoughts about breast cancer from more than 2,000 respondents includes these results (from and AOL Health):

41 percent said getting heart disease scares them more than getting breast cancer (29 percent said nothing scared them more than breast cancer; third and fourth, respectively, were a terrorist attack, 17 percent, and getting fat, 13 percent).

73 percent have had a close friend or relative who has battled breast cancer.

50 percent said they would have their breasts removed if they tested positive for the breast cancer gene.

59 percent said they do self-exams sporadically.

Compiled from Times staff, wires

How to fight a child's cold without cold medicine 10/27/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 30, 2008 9:01pm]
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