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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Is there any point in using cough medicine for under sixes?

(22 Posts)
olivo Sat 13-Apr-13 13:14:15

W have all been ill, high temps, achy muscles and hacky coughs. I have got through using day and night nurse, DD aged six has used paracetamol, benylin children's coughs and night cough meds, but there is little that DD2 can use, being only aged 3. She is getting by on nurofen/ carpool but wondering if there is any point in getting the glycerol type mess they market for little ones.

Do they actually do anything?

Teachercreature Sat 13-Apr-13 17:04:17

You're better off getting her to lick some honey off a spoon (seriously!) Just as soothing, and with lots of healing properties. My mum told me this ages ago and that cough medicines actually do very little, but I didn't believe her for ages - then I saw a load of articles on it and apparently it is true!

mybelovedmonster Sat 13-Apr-13 17:05:27

What teacher said. You're better off having a warm honey drink.

mybelovedmonster Sat 13-Apr-13 17:06:19

The glycerol ones will ease your throat if its hurting though, but it won't do anything to ease the cough itself.

AThingInYourLife Sat 13-Apr-13 17:06:40

There's no point in using any cough medicine.

olivo Sat 13-Apr-13 19:53:42

Honey, didn't think of that, thanks. She's had calpol and stuff for pain, it's the cough that is stopping her sleeping.

I have to say, adult cough medicines have been my saviour this past week.

Themobstersknife Sat 13-Apr-13 19:55:34

Have you tried Vicks on feet with socks? Its worked a treat with my two.

Sunshine200 Sat 13-Apr-13 19:55:58

My doctor told me that there isn't.

olivo Sat 13-Apr-13 20:07:42

Vicks gunky stuff in a tub? I think I have some boots own version, didn't think of that. Thanks.

Nagoo Sat 13-Apr-13 20:10:35

I keep the glycerol cough mixture in the cupboard for when I think the placebo effect might work smile

Teachercreature Sun 14-Apr-13 12:12:45

Oh also, if you haven't already tried it, a humidifier or wet towel on radiator does really help. My DD had shocking coughs from 2-5 yrs old, and it really helped her a lot (that and the honey in a glass next to bed). Wish you all better soon! smile

mamij Sun 14-Apr-13 12:34:13

If you can afford to, the Manuka honey is good. You can keep it for colds/coughs/illnesses rather than every day use to make it last longer.

Don't think it's advisable to give cough medicines to under 6s.

olivo Sun 14-Apr-13 12:36:42

Thanks, looks like I may have to take her to the dr tomorrow- day 5 of having a temp, now only 38.5 but has dragged on. She is miserable, and so am I!

Will get some honey in though, to keep for this kind of thing.

MrsHerculePoirot Sun 14-Apr-13 12:38:16

My GP also said there they don't do anything but that sometimes it helps psychologically if the child thinks they are having medicine to make a cough better and parents as they think they are 'doing' something!

We have a bottle of special medicine called H2O - DD (3) thinks it helps enormously and it is so magic they make it look like and taste like water grin...

mamij Sun 14-Apr-13 12:47:24

Ah. Definitely take her into see the GP as fevers shouldn't last that long. I took my two in at Christmas a fevers were 39 for five days and not going away. We were given antibiotics and fevers went down two days after taking it.

Hope your DD recovers soon.

HandMini Sun 14-Apr-13 12:52:35

Some of the glycerol cough medicines can also give children diarrhoea (can't remember which ingredient, something beginning with M) which is obv rubbish when they've had colds/not eating/may already be dehydrated, so I would acitively avoid them.

TotallyEggFlipped Sun 14-Apr-13 12:52:55

I remember reading a study in a medical journal that concluded that over the counter cough remedies are no more effective than chocolate for treating coughs. grin

(chocolate contains theobromine or some such that does have an effect in treating coughs)

olivo Sun 14-Apr-13 13:07:46

Yes, the malitol can give diarrhoea I think.

I have done the 'water in a syringe' medicine many a time wink

LondonJax Mon 15-Apr-13 20:30:57

Our DS gets really barking coughs (he's just coming up to 6 years old). Nothing used to help until we discovered the vapouriser things (the ones you plug into the electric socket and leave on all night). It clears the congestion, which is what causes the cough and we all get a good night's sleep! You can/should only use them for 3-5 days but you only get 5 vapour pads. Usually, by then, DS is clear.

freetrait Mon 15-Apr-13 22:38:12

I think cough medicines are pretty rubbish at any age. I hope your DD is better soon. Took my DD (4) to doc with high temp and awful cough on Monday last week. He checked her out, no antibiotics needed which is fine by me. Said she'd be better in a day or two. Well, it took her to Friday to stop having a temperature (that was since the previous Friday) and she still has the cough. These coughs can go for ever.....sad.

stewartlaura67 Tue 16-Apr-13 07:35:51

Had I been in your place I’d surely give honey and glycerol a try before take syrups.

TheApprentice Tue 16-Apr-13 07:43:34

Over Christmas I had to take ds2 to the childrens ward - while I was there I heard the consultant talking to another child's parents. She said on no account to give the child cough mixture and that they are so anti cough mixture for kids now that they don't have any at the hospital. According to her, if a child is coughing its because s/he needs to cough and so it needs to be left alone.

Easy to say, not so easy when your child is suffering!

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