32 answers

21 Month Has a Cold What Is Safe?

Hey everyone I have a 21 month old boy who has just started daycare this is his 2nd week. And I know that he is going to be getting sick more often now from being around other kids everyday. Well he had a cold about 4weeks ago and got over it giving him over the counter medicines his doctor ok'd. Then he got a bad stomach bug last week and he got over it. And now he has been developing a cold/cough.

He was just coughing so much yesterday day and all last night. We put the vaporizor on and the sudacare plug in's and vapor rub on his chest. And my husband called our after hours nurse to see if we could give him the pediatric robutussin. And was very firm " do not give him that or any other OTC medicines" because of the recalls.

My question is, now what are we supossed to do when he gets cold and cough? Just let him cough? For his whole life our doctor has said that they were safe for him to take and now all of a sudden we aren't allowed to give him anything untill he is 2? And by the way he is 32lbs so he meets all of the weight requirments on the medicines. Can you all help!

3 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I actually tried the Vick vapor rub on his feet last night, b/c he still has some congestion and was coughing a little. Man that boy slept really well. It was so funny, he was half awake looking at me like "Mom what are you doing". My husband said that too, "What are you putting on his feet?". I told him that ya'll suggested it on here. And I just want to say thank you so much.

Featured Answers

my daughter is the same age and I give her children's mucinex or tylenol sinus/allergy. I know exactly what you are going through, we just started daycare about 2 months ago. hope everything works out and you find the right medicine.

Just a little something another mom shared with me is to douse you little one's feet with vicks vapor rub and cover with socks just before bed time. For some odd reason it REALLY works. It's supposed to trigger nerves which soothes colds and coughs. Try it! It works very well with my daughter. I do it every time she is sick with a cold/cough ETC. Good Luck!

More Answers

Since I had my first daughter 9 years ago, I have avoided OTC cough/anti-hesitimine meds because I was always leary. IMHO I think they prolong colds--I do not even take any of them. (Actaully once my husband and I had a cold at the same time; I did the the stuff I am abou to mention and he did the OTC route, I was better in less than two days and he ended up going to the doctor five days later for z-pac).
When we get a cold, we do lots of hot steams and drink lots of hot tea with honey. And, for the very different one, we give a small piece of high quality bitter sweet chocolate (NOT something you find in the Target candy aisle, more like Calebauret or even Lindts 82%) and the coughing STOPS for about 30/40 minutes.
See http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/16781.php
I am a big fan of hot baths, cuddling and story times too. Hot water vaporizers and the new sudafed plugs are awesome too!
We also do drives in the cool night air if the cough sounds croupy.
I know it seems like a lot of work but it is better for all involved in the long run.
I know some of these sound crazy but they have worked for us for 9 years and my kids rarely get sick (between my four kids, we've been on antibiotics twice total)--I think avoiding OTCs is one of the reasons why.

1 mom found this helpful

the only reason they did those recalls is because of stupid parents that don't read the labels and they overdose their kids. they think if a little does good then alot will do better. there is nothing wrong with the over the counter medicine it is poor parenting. my kids are 13,10,8 and plus i have 7 nieces and nephews that have ALL taken those medicines. there is absolutely nothing wrong with the medicine as long as you read the directions and follow them.

1 mom found this helpful

I would call your doctor today and ask him. We give our 20 month old Triaminic (3/4 tsp) for cough and Dimatapp (3/4 tsp)for cold symptoms. From what I have read, neither of those are on the recall list. Our pedi told us just a couple of weeks ago to use those when he was sick. Good Luck and I hope your little one is feeling better. It is hard to get kiddos acclimated to the germs at daycare.

There has been a recall on all infant otc medicines which is why7 the after hours nurse told you no. Try and wait til Monday to get him to the doctors. I'm sorry that your going though this at this dark hour. Good luck!

my daughter is the same age and I give her children's mucinex or tylenol sinus/allergy. I know exactly what you are going through, we just started daycare about 2 months ago. hope everything works out and you find the right medicine.

Keep using a cold mist vaporizer if it helps. Avoid hot mist vaporizers, as bacteria can grow in them and be spread that way. As a rule the hot ones are not hot enough to kill off bacteria or viruses. Otherwise, just let it run it's course. The OTC medicines are not cures. They only relieve symptoms and may in the end prolong a cold by preventing natures way of killing off viruses or bacteria by way of mild fever. Only if a fever goes beyond 103'F should you worry. Then you should take him to the emergency at your hospital. Some people swear by vitamin C. You could try giving him some vitamin C by giving him orange or apple juice. They both are good sources of vitamin C. At least that will not hurt him, and he would benefit from the extra fluids.

I too have heard about the Vicks Vapor Rub on the feet with socks at night. You should try it!! Also, the cool-mist humidifier on high in Ryan's room always made a drastic difference. (you said "vaporizer" but I'm not sure if that's the same thing as the "cool-mist humidifier" that we have, it works like a charm)

Good luck, I hate seeing them sick too. :o(

~ t

My first son which is 2 1/2 now was always sick while he went to daycare, what my Dr. recommended that I use with both of my boys is Rescon GG. It is not a decongestant, it is an expectorant which breaks everything loose. Dependant on how dry their cough is and if it is in the mid of the night, I will give it a boost by taking them into the bathroom with a hot shower running.

You can ask for it behind the counter of any WalGreens, Walmart, Kroger, etc. I do not use anything else.

Good luck to you!!

Hi J.,
When my son was around 19 months old he had a cough and his doctor prescribed him Novahistine-DH Liquid for the cough. He was allowed to take 1/4 of a teaspoon every 4 hours as needed for the cough.
Call your pedi and see if they can prescribe that med.
It was VERY helpful for my son's cough especially throughout the night when the coughing tends to get worse.
Since the recall is on over the counter meds I don't see why they'd have a problem prescribing him something from the doctor.

I am sorry to hear how sick your baby's getting from the daycare. His immune system is just getting used to all of the different viruses and germs other kiddos carry and pretty soon it should be alot stronger and hopefully he won't catch so much left and right.

Good Luck and hope he feels better soon.

We've always raised one side of the bed (the side head is on) to help with breathing easier. We also (at docs rec) do childrens benadryl to help clear up the nose gunk which in turn helps the cough. I mainly would only do this at naptime or night time because that is when it's usually the worst. Other than that we ride it out unless fever is involved.

I would call the doc again though and find out if they'll give him something or if there is something else he can take and what the appropriate dosage is. That's the big problem right now with OTC medicines is that parents are self dosing for the kids and giving them too much.

I have found on my 9 month old boy that I just let him tough it out without medicine. It seems that his ammune system has really boosted from it. While my friends little ones are continuously getting sick my little guy is much healthier now. Occasionally at home if he gets stuffy or a cough I will put on a vaporizer and baby vicks but that is about it. My little one is just a little bit behind yours in weight. He is a very big boy but it is not necessarily the weight as much as the time for all of his organs developmet, that makes the difference. I wish you luck and hope your little one is better soon.

Our pediatrician gave us samples of prescription cold/cough medicine as well as sample sized bottles of Dimetapp cold/cough.

I believe the recall was done because parents were overdosing kids by not checking proper dosing with their pediatrician.
Also, a lot of cold medicines, especially decongestants, are proven to actually work in young children. I think the tendency to overdose might have been because one dose wouldn't seem to be effective, thus parents would give more medicine without realizing that it was a bad idea.

The samples we were given at the docs office yesterday include the same ingredients as OTC medicines we purchased before the recall, and the recommended dose is the same as what we'd given previously. We have always called the doctor's office to ask about the right dose of OTC medicines because our daughter is small for her age. She is 4 1/2 and weighs the same at your 21-month-old!

I'd call the doctor and see what they recommend and go from there.

The medicine that I find works best for us is Motrin. It usually helps relax everything and helps with the pain.

I have read this in several different places but I have not actually tried it. Put vicks vapor rub liberally on the bottom of his feet at bedtime and put socks on him. I heard this will stop a cough during the night. I am going to try it next time my son gets a cough, but would be interested to know if it works. Please let me know if you try it.

OK, I'm confused. I thought the recall was only because some people were giving Tylenol Cold as well as regular Tylenol drops and therefore OD'ing kids. That's what the Tylenol site says. http://www.tylenol.com/page.jhtml?id=tylenol/news/subpccc... Is that not true?

But to answer your question, my pedi had given us a prescription for Duradryl that seems to work well. You may want to ask about that.

Maybe your doctor can prescribe you something to give him when he gets congested. Also, I would suggest giving your son a vitamin every day with extra C to keep him healthy during the winter and at daycare.

My pedi has always said not to give cough medications; so we haven't. We do use Children's Musinex...for my 33 lb child I give 2.5mL (not sure if I got that from a doctor or friend, so proceed with your good judgement). I also give Children's Benadryl at night to relax them and dry up any of the drainage. The two together works for us. My 33 lb child also takes 2.5 of Benadryl. The humidifier is a good idea....we also do that. That is about all we do.

Another thing about the OTC medicines. Recent testing has shown that they are not really effective in relieving symptoms. The formulas have changed due to all the psudoephedirine and alcohol previously in the ingredients. I've noticed that my kids don't seem to get much better with them. So, I would follow the doc's advice. Also, the weight restrictions for meds isn't the only reason docs don't let babies take meds. Every baby's biological/nervous system develops at a different pace. So his body may not be mature enough yet to handle it regardless of his weight. Just don't risk it. You are doing what is recommended for kids with coughs. The humidifier will help the most. Give lots of liquids, and not too much mucous causing foods like, milk, cheese, or yogurt. It'll keep his cough loose. Also, you might try raising one side of the mattress to elevate his head. However, this doesn't work well for my kids anymore because they move around so much in their sleep. Try to remember too that it usually takes a couple of weeks for them to get totally over a cold. Good luck.

I am sorry to hear that your little one is sick. Colds are rough. My peditrician has never been a fan of the OTC medications. He stated that the recommended dose is not enough to help, but the therapeutic dose and toxic dose are too close together. What works the best when my little guy is sick is a warm bath with the vapor bath, rubbing the vapor rub on him. Then I mix honey with warm water and give it to him to drink. (sometimes he doesn't like it, so I give him with the dropper from the pharmacy. That usually works) Then I try to keep his head elevated. We have had more luck with that method than with the medications. There have been times when it doesn't work though, and then his pedi will prescribe something. He usually has more than just a cold when that happens. Try to keep him hydrated, that will help too. Good luck. Talk with your pedi (not the nurse) and see how he feels about it too and what home treatments that he recommends.

What I have found that works great for a cough is to put a thin coat of Vics Vaporub on the bottom of our feet and then socks. Takes the cough away. Just did this 2 nights ago with my little one and it took the mucus monster away too!

My understanding is the FDA is going to recommend that cold medicines containing certain ingredients should not be given to children under 6. A recent article is below.


Good luck!

As many of the other moms have mentioned, try putting baby Vicks on his feet and covering them with socks. I know it sounds crazy, but I promise you it works!

Check with your doctor about Delysm. It is a cough only med. No guarantees that it will work. Each child is different. Differnt meds work for different children. Also ask if there is something like Benadryl that you can give to slow down the post nasel drip. That might be what is making him cough.

Contact your peditrican- I would take advise from him/her... Remember you can always take your child to Acute Kids as they are open on the weekends and provide excellent care


When my son was little, our pediatrician advised not to use a cough suppresant because coughing is the body's way of ridding itself from the excess mucus. A vaporizer works well to break up the mucus.

He used to get sick all the time at daycare. Then about two years ago, we found a product that helps improve the immune system. Since then, we have not been to the doctor for anything but well-checks and one case of pink eye.

If you'd like more information on this product, you can write to me privately.

"Our family doctor misses us. So does the pharmacist."

Supposedly those medicines don't help much anyway, and that has always been our experience. If I were you, I would keep doing what you are doing, and then see if you can get a prescription for a cough remedy from your doctor.

apparently none of it is TRULY safe now 'til they're six. which is just disappointing b/c i have a 4-year-old boy and really the only thing i give him is delsym at night for coughing b/c the poor nugget can't sleep sick & hacking and hacking. the humidifier helps, but i tried raising his bed and he shimmied down to the end b/c he didn't like the elevation. :-)

i too have found really none of the antihistamines or decongestants work ... but the cough syrup does. i don't know what we're going to do come next cold. might be time i reinvest in his astragalus and echinacea drops again as preventive measures. they were so expensive last year, but he did seem to fair perhaps 1-2 colds less when he was on them.

Here's a news article that was just published on the subject:

Panel of experts recommend no cold medicines under the age of 6. I never felt they worked on my daughter when she had a cold; it's just been since she turned 8-9 that I can see improvement in her symptoms by taking OTC cold meds. They can really affect a child's ability to rest--can wire a kid up for hours. Ask your doctor if he can have Mucinex, and what dosage. It will break up all the mucus in his head & chest, which is the underlying issue in most colds. Mucinex has no decongestants (but Mucinex D does, stay away from that one) Also, use a cool-mist humidifier, not a vaporizer, and make sure you put an anti-microbial treatment in the water--spraying germs all over the room kinda defeats the purpose. If your baby is still sick after a week, it's time to visit the dr.--he needs to listen to his chest, etc. Finally (!) push lots and lots and LOTS of water, Gatorade, watered down juice--as much fluid as you can get in him. That will heal him better than anything else.

The Sudacare plug-ins are the BEST!!! When either of my kids have a bad cough or cold this always helps them sleep.

I been in your shoes several times. I am a Mom of 5 and this is the best advise that I was ever given. It sounds crazy, but works every time. Try rubbing a good amount of Vicks on your sons feet and put him in socks, at bedtime. With in a matter of minutes the coughing will stop, and he will get a good nights sleep. This also works for us adults, and will ensure one of the best nights of sleep you've had in along time. It works and it is safe.

Just a little something another mom shared with me is to douse you little one's feet with vicks vapor rub and cover with socks just before bed time. For some odd reason it REALLY works. It's supposed to trigger nerves which soothes colds and coughs. Try it! It works very well with my daughter. I do it every time she is sick with a cold/cough ETC. Good Luck!

T&J Health Solutions
Category: Diet & Nutrition

You might try this delicious drink made from seaweed from the coasts of Tonga.
It works with your immune system to strengthen the body and has anti bacterial and anti viral affects.
My grandson has not had infections since he started drinking Limu. It's great for the whole family.
It is considered a food, not a drug, but it helps the body in so many ways.

If you are interested in optimal health, we recommend drinking 2 to 4 ounces a day every day.
Main ingrediant is Fucoidan. Not found in any land based plant. Over 700 scientific researches done on www.pubmed.org.

J. Carden
T&J Health Solutions
Phone: ###-###-####
Best tasting Superfood in a bottle!!

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.