Q:Please I have a question pertaining to cough and catarrh syrup and all that. You made us understand that when a child is given such medication, it depresses the respiratory track or something like that. Please from what age can someone start taking such medication for cough and catarrh? Thank you Ma, awaiting your response. God bless you
A: As a parent, it’s very normal for you to feel worried when your baby is ill especially when it appears you’re helpless and really can’t do anything to help him/her. However, when your baby has a cough, giving cough syrups may not be the way to go…and I’ll tell you why.
First, if your baby’s cough is due to a cold, you really don’t need to give your baby any drug. A cold is a viral infection and once it causes an infection, it will run its course before it stops. And so, with or without drugs, a cold will go. It would usually last for about a week to 10 days and then disappear. There’s no need for antibiotics for a viral infection. Indeed, taking antibiotics when they are not needed leads to antibiotic resistance where the antibiotics can no longer properly do their jobs when they are really needed to fight infections.
Then some of the ingredients in the cough syrups can also cause a baby’s heart to beat faster, may cause convulsions and basically do not treat the cause of the cough. They are actually not supposed to be used for children younger than 2 years of age.
Now, what can you do in the meantime:
Let your baby sleep in your arms or in a semi-upright position. You can prop him up with lots of pillows at night.
Offer your baby fluids and if there is congestion in the nose, use a saline spray. You can ask your doctor or pharmacist for this.
An air humidifier also moistens the air and makes it easier for your baby to breath. If you don’t have this, you can let your baby breath in steam from a hot shower.
A suction bulb can also help remove mucous from your baby’s nose. You can ask for one in the hospital or a pharmacy.
Please see your baby’s doctor if this cough continues and/or your baby develops a fever and this cough lasts more than 2 weeks. If your baby also has difficulty breathing, cannot breath or feed, you should also see his/her doctor.
Have a great day, everyone 😀