'Tis the season of the sniffles! And your little one will likely suffer from a cold sometime in her first winter. While many adults don’t think twice treating symptoms with over-the-counter medicine, we have to be much more careful with babies.

Never give the following to your infant:

1. Over-the-counter zinc nose spray or drops.

They may damage the nerves in the nose and hurt your baby’s ability to smell.

2. Honey in anything for babies under 1.

It can cause a potentially fatal illness from botulism.

3. Vicks Vaporub.

It can get in the eyes and be VERY irritating. Plus, a 2009 study found it actually increased mucous production and inflammation and can worsen breathing for babies and tots.

4. Cough and cold medicines for children under 4.

Research shows they don’t help little kids much, but they have the potential for serious side effects and overdose.

An FYI about antibiotics:

The American Academy of Pediatrics has advised doctors against prescribing antibiotics for viral respiratory illnesses, like sinusitis, pharyngitis, bronchitis. They don’t work, and they lead to antibiotic resistance in the community, which can harm us all. In fact, 23,000 people die in the US from infections caused by bacteria resistant to antibiotics. 

On the other hand, getting the flu shot can really protect a child – and the whole household – from getting slammed with high fever and chills…or worse!

If your baby does get a cold, check out my article on safe, natural remedies. Stay healthy!

View more posts tagged Baby, health & safety