Give Honey and Lemon, Not OTC Cough Medicines, To Children with Coughs

In children, cough is the most commonly seen a symptom and persistent cough is usually referred to pediatricians. For parents, the cough can be very distressing to observe particularly in the event that it interferes with daily activities and frequently disturbs both the parents and child’s sleep. While coughing might be seen as minor troublesome symptoms with no serious outcomes, ignoring cough that might be the sole presenting symptom of an underlying respiratory v may prompt delayed diagnosis and progressions of a serious illness or chronic respiratory morbidity.

In most children, acute coughing is normally because of a viral upper respiratory tract contamination (URTI, for example, a simple head cool with bronchitis or croup. Less frequently, but at the same time normal, pathogens can involve the lower respiratory tract system causing bronchiolitis, whooping cough, or pneumonia. In school children, symptomatic URTI with cough typically occurs around 7– 10 times each year.

The common causes are in children with post viral or pertussis-like illnesses causing the cough. Because of a viral infection, when an initial dry acute cough turns into a prolonged wet cough persistent bacterial bronchitis regularly occurs remaining long after the febrile illness has resolved. This cough responds to a completed course of suitable antibiotics.

Cough medicines can be toxic and children are better off being treated with plain old honey and lemon and a lot of rest, a leading pediatrician has advised.

“Cough medicines contain active ingredients which can be harmful and parents should “stick to old-fashioned honey and lemon, rest and liquids”, said a leading pediatrician. Children with troublesome coughs should be treated with ‘old-fashioned’ honey and lemon instead of over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicines, a leading pediatrician has advised.

At the point when taken in large doses, numerous OTC cough and cold medicines and medications can be toxic or have adverse effects, Oliver Bevington, chair of the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health’s (RCPCH) trainees’ committee cautioned.

In an article published on the medical blog Hippocratic Post, Bevington said there was “absolutely no evidence that cough medicines work” and that “possibly they could really do the child more harm than good “.

These prescriptions “frequently also contain a lot of sugar, which is additionally not good for children’s overall health,” he added. He said that “nine times out of ten”, coughs and colds were caused by a self- limiting viral infection. So needn’t bother with antibiotics and show signs of improvement with rest, a lot of liquids and possibly paracetamol or potentially ibuprofen.

Bevington, a senior registrar in pediatrics at Southampton Children’s Hospital, said a lot of OTC cough and cold medicines contained active ingredients such as, nasal decongestants, antihistamines and ” cough suppressors “, that may have adverse effects or be harmful if consumed in large amounts especially to the under 6s who are much more susceptible.

Ingredients such as paracetamol may also contain, and parents may unintentionally end up overdosing their child he cautioned. “Additionally, as with any drug, there remains a potential risk that any of the ingredients could cause an allergic reaction or other unwanted side effects,” he said.

His advice for parents was “to stick to old-fashioned honey and lemon, rest, plenty of liquids and paracetamol and additional ibuprofen according to the pack instructions “, and that if symptoms persisted they should talk with their GP or pharmacist. Bevington’s intervention followed the announcement by NHS England on 30 November 2017 that it is launching a formal consultation on taking up to 3,200 OTC medicines, including cough mixtures, off prescription.

In the meantime, NHS England published national guidance on a range of medicines which should never again be routinely prescribed care including homeopathy, omega-3 unsaturated fat mixes, co-proxamol, and rubefacients.


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