"Over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold products should not be used to treat infants and children less than 2 years of age because serious and potentially life-threatening side effects can occur from such use," the Food and Drug Administration said in a statement.
The FDA cited rare reports of deaths, convulsions and rapid heart rates, adding that the medicines "have not been shown to be safe or effective in children under 2."
In October 2007, major manufacturers voluntarily pulled 14 cough and cold products for children up to age 2. That same month, a panel of FDA advisers recommended that non-prescription cough and cold medicines not be given to children under 6. The panel of outside experts said companies should do clinical trials to prove the medicines actually work for children.
A group of pediatricians and public health officials petitioned the FDA to restrict sales to children younger than 6 years old.
[Reuters, 17 Jan 2008]
The message is simple: cough and cold medicines have not been proven to be effective for the very young. Said medicines, may even cause more harm than cure.
Stick to supportive therapy. These young kids are resilient. With bed rest, fluids, and tender loving care, they can heal themselves without taking any cough and cold medicine.