Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Dose of Reality

By Kelly

Hi. My name is Kelly, and I’m a parent of three children. Natalie is 7, Connor is 4 and Teyla is 8 months. As you might suspect, we’ve battled our fair share of colds over the years. In fact, Connor and Teyla have colds right now. My walls echo with the sounds of coughing, congestion and crankiness. Mom is ever present and ever needed.

Too bad the FDA doesn’t trust me to decide how to treat them.

The news yesterday that drug manufacturers are voluntarily recommending that over-the-counter cold medicine not be given to children younger than four annoyed me. The story line is that many parents overdose their kids, who then end up in the ER, because they don’t read directions properly. Plus, no studies have ever proven cold medicine to be effective in young children.

Huh. Could have fooled me. I’ve watched a child who couldn’t breath through a congested nose – even after the dreaded BBOS* had been deployed, even in a room filled with mist from a humidifier – fall deeply asleep 30 minutes after swallowing a small dose of infant cold medicine. Sure seemed like the drops made the difference.

But what do I know? I’m just a mom.

Here’s the deal, FDA. I know you’re considering getting rid of children’s cold medicine altogether. But I do read directions. I keep track of my dosages. I understand that acetaminophen might be in more than one product. And while I don’t reach for medicine as soon as my child starts to sniffle, I don’t want you telling me I can’t give them medicine when I think it’s warranted.

My kids shouldn’t be penalized for other parents’ ignorance.


After all that, I think I need a glass of wine.

Except, if I think about it, I could overdose on that too. And it doesn’t really solve anything. It just masks the symptoms.

Don’t tell the FDA….

*Blue Bulb of Suckage

Kelly is usually found blogging at Love Well, where she’s rarely controversial and 95% more pleasant.


  1. yeah, 'cuz you know we're all a bunch of idiots who need the government to tell us how to raise our kids... ;)
    Love the BBOS...

  2. THANK YOU! I feel the same way! No one can tell me that children's cold medicine doesn't help because I KNOW it does. I can see the difference. My kids can FEEL the difference. And yes, I am super cautious about giving the medicine to my children.
    A couple of dopey people always ruin it for the masses. Stinks.

  3. This was my exact reaction also to this news. I never give my kids anythig they dont need or the doctor doesnt recommend or perscribe. I am intelligent, and i took health and wellness classes amoung others in college. Just because on mom messes up doesnt mean we all do. And why do i need to suffer because another mom is an idiot. It is like saying "well so-and-so abuses their kids so i think we should do home inspections of everyone". It is rediculous.

  4. I could not agree more.

  5. I completely agree!

    Under doctor's orders, I use Benadryl to help my daughter's seasonal allergies. I always use the dose the doctor recommended.

    And I notice a difference. Her breathing goes from Darth Vadar to normal...

  6. Love it. And completely agree.
    And there is NO way we are supposed to get by during colds with nothing but the "beloved" BBOS. That would make for some miserably, screaming-filled sickness.

  7. Totally agree. It sucks that a handful of people have to ruin it for everyone else. I've given my girls over the counter meds for coughing & stuffy noses, several times. And they've worked each time. Just using saline drops & the booger sucker, didn't work, they needed the meds to go with it.

    I never give the full dosage, unless it's something prescribed by the doctor. I normally cut the meds in half & it's always worked just fine.

  8. I'm right there with you on this one. And since the whole thing in the US of putting the good stuff (with pseudoephedrine HCl) behind the counter and requiring a photo ID it is hard to find cold medicine with just one ingredient in it. Manufacturers aren't making enough money because it is so difficult for consumers to buy so they stop making it.

    My biggest peeves about this entire situation are:
    1. Decongestants work on my daughter. Where can I sign us up for the FDA study to prove this.
    2. Why is it so difficult to get just the decongestant? Most cold medicines have at least decongestant plus acetaminophen or ibuprofen and possibly some expectorant or cough suppressant (the last two do NOTHING for her - maybe that's what they should recommend not giving to children because it doesn't work)
    3. The times that I hold back and don't give her decongestant at least at bed time I swear it takes longer for her to get over the cold. And it has also led to needing prescription medications for a sinus infection and bronchitis.

  9. Thank you for your post. Like the others have commented here, I think the cold medicines make my daughter much more comfortable when she has a cold or allergies. I think we should have the FDA come and deal with kids in the middle of the night when they are miserable without giving them the meds. I have a college degree. I know how to read labels and dosages. My husband has an advanced degree, thus he also has the ability to read labels and use medications effectively. Too bad we are all too stupid to raise our own kids and need the government to protect us from ourselves.

  10. I agree wholeheartedly - no one wants their child to suffer through a stuffed-up nose, especially at night. My daughter inherited some pretty bad seasonal allergies, and decongestants are a life-saver during her flare-ups!

  11. I can't even bring myself to use the BBOS. Can't. do. it.

    The bottom line is, the governement, the FDA, the whoevers up there in leadership, want to take away 100% of risk in everything. They will legislate and rule-ify everything in our country because it's "safer".

    THAT makes me crazy. Life isn't safe.

    I know that wasn't what your post was about, but that rant of mine came out of my fingers involuntarily. Sorry.

  12. I know what you mean. I have four boys and I am not afraid to give them their "recommended" dose. I have always read the directions to see how much to give and if anything I always underdose just alittle. My 14 year old has been taking OTC medicines and he is fine.

    But now a days if you eat to many apples you will get cancer so go figure!!

  13. I totally agree! In Australia they have done exactly what your FDA is recommending....the winter just gone was the longest of my life. Sometimes the BBOS just doesn't cut it.