Georgetown Pediatric Center
57 Jessamine Ave., Georgetown, SC 29442
January 3, 2011
As many of our parents know, we do not routinely suggest use of over the counter (OTC) cough and cold medications. Many well designed scientific studies have suggested that they offer little if any benefit and the side effects frequently cancel out any potential positive effects. Remedies that are very safe and have some benefit include:
For many years we have not recommended vapor rub products (topical products containing menthol, camphor, and eucalyptus oils). These products were thought to be of doubtful value, could cause significant respiratory irritation and could be a problem if ingested. A study performed by pediatricians at Penn State in the December 20, 2010 issue of “Pediatrics” suggests that we should reconsider our position. These researchers found that cough frequency and sleep time were significantly improved in Vapor Rub treated children when compared to no treatment or Vaseline treatment. They did not see a significant improvement in cough severity or runny nose symptoms. As expected, parents did notice more irritation in the Vapor Rub treated children (rash, eye, skin and nose burning sensation).
The dose of Vapor Rub was one teaspoon massaged for one
minute to the shoulder, neck, and “mustache” area of the face for 2-5 year old
children. Two teaspoons could be used
for the 6-11 year old child.
REMEMBER: Eating this product can
be dangerous!!! It should be used as a
rub only. Use is not recommended under