FDA advice on young children and colds

Staff Writer
Baystateparent Magazine

We've heard it many times before: There’s no cure for the common cold, and because of the potential for side effects, the FDA doesn't recommend giving over-the-counter meds to most children under 2. So when should parents seek medical attention?

“Call your pediatrician at the first sign of illness whenever a baby 3 months or younger is sick,” FDA’s pediatrician Amy M. Taylor, M.D., M.H.S., advises. For all children, call a doctor if you see any of these symptoms:

  1. A fever in an infant 2 months or younger.
  2. A fever of 102 or higher at any age.
  3. Signs of labored breathing, including nostrils widening with each breath, wheezing, fast breathing, the ribs

    showing with each breath.

  4. Blue lips.
  5. Not eating or drinking, with signs of dehydration.
  6. Ear pain.
  7. Excessive crankiness or sleepiness.
  8. If the cough lasts for more than three weeks.
  9. If the child is getting worse.

Those symptoms can signal that your child has something more serious than a cold.

“You have to know your child,” Taylor says. “With small infants, fever is a major concern, and you need medical advice. If you are worried about your child’s symptoms, at any age, call your pediatrician for advice.”

More advice and the full story can be found on the FDA site.