Advertisement

What medicines should I avoid giving my child?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Here are some general principles to keep in mind about specific medications:

  • Avoid decogestants because they contain ingredients that can make your child agitated, irritable, or unable to sleep. Try saline drops instead.
  • Never give your child aspirin - not even baby aspirin. Aspirin plus a viral infection can cause Reye syndrome, a combination of liver and brain dysfunction that can lead to death.
  • Don't give acetaminophen unless you're sure of the dose, and if you are needing it for five days consistently, it's worth checking in with your doc to see if your child needs to be seen. Persistent fever can occur with illnesses such as influenza, but if that has not been formally diagnosed, consult with the pediatrician to make sure other processes are not going on, such as Kawasaki syndrome, which causes five-plus days of fever, cherry red lips, peeling fingers, toes, and bottoms, often with a more generalized rash, and requires medical treatment as promptly as it is diagnosed.
  • Avoid giving combined cough and cold medicines, because they're often made up of a combo of drugs, which can be a lot for small bodies to take. And they tend to treat the parents' symptoms (Mommy and Daddy are tired and need sleep), not the kid's.
YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

More About this Book

YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

There’s little doubt that parenting can be one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences you’ll ever have. But it can be plenty tough, too: Around the clock, you’re working to keep your...

Continue Learning about Parenting

Pain and Fever Reducers: Which Is Right for Your Child?
Pain and Fever Reducers: Which Is Right for Your Child?
Which pain reliever do you reach for when your child has a fever or an earache or a headache? There's a good chance it's the same one your parents gav...
Read More
How can I help my child be successful in school?
RealAgeRealAge
Here are some ways to help a child be successful in school and be a lifelong learner:1. Define style...
More Answers
Embarrassing Questions You Wish Your Kids Wouldn’t Ask
Embarrassing Questions You Wish Your Kids Wouldn’t AskEmbarrassing Questions You Wish Your Kids Wouldn’t AskEmbarrassing Questions You Wish Your Kids Wouldn’t AskEmbarrassing Questions You Wish Your Kids Wouldn’t Ask
Every parent is going to face an embarrassing question they’re not quite ready for. Check out these questions you might hear and smart ways to answer ...
Start Slideshow
Daphne Oz Shares How She Gets Her Daughter to Eat Veggies
Daphne Oz Shares How She Gets Her Daughter to Eat Veggies

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.