Vicks-use cautiously with your children.

The popular cold remedy Vicks VapoRub may cause airway inflammation that can restrict xin_462010614102000077246breathing in infants and toddlers under two, U.S. researchers said.

If Vicks Procter & Gamble product is applied directly under the nose or in the nostrils of children under 4 years of age their tiny airways could swell and fill with mucus, triggering severe breathing problems.

“The company is really clearly states

  • don’t put it in the nose,
  • never use it in kids under 2,
  • “Sure enough, when we stopped all the medicine, the child got much better very quickly.” said Dr. Bruce K. Rubin professor and vice chair for research at Wake Forest’s Department of Pediatrics said the ingredients in Vicks can be irritants, causing the body to produce more mucus to protect the airway. And since infants and young children have airways that are much narrower than those of an adult, any increase in mucus or swelling can narrow them severely.

Doctors at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. started their study after treating an 18-month-old girl who had developed severe respiratory distress after the salve had been put directly under her nose to relieve cold symptoms.

The researchers found that Vicks VapoRub increased mucus production by up to 59 percent; the ability to clear mucus was reduced by 36 percent.

Many generic versions of Vicks could cause the same negative effects in infants and toddlers.

In October 2008, major manufacturers and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that over-the-counter cough and cold medicines should not be used by children younger than 4 years.

If one applies Vicks  or eucalyptus and olive oil to the bottoms of the feet and then cover the feet with socks, it has been known to stop some sever coughs. Homeopathy also is very good for coughs and colds due consult a homeopathic practitioner.

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P&G cold remedy may cause baby breathing problems January 14, 2009.


Image courtesy of Xinhuanet Photo

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