Will Cold and Flu Products Help (or Harm) Your Child?

Tap or click to learn what meds to give at which ages

Your kid’s got the sniffles. Sneezes are sure to follow. Which over-the-counter (OTC) medicines can help, and which can hurt, your child? Pharmacist Alex Luli, PharmD, explains:

Advertising Policy

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy


Take-home tips

  • Moist air matters. Humidifiers and nasal saline sprays are helpful (and safe) for all ages!
  • Match dose to strength. Medicines come in different concentrations. Use the right dose for your product’s strength.
  • Spoons aren’t reliable. Use the product’s measuring device or buy one at your pharmacy.
  • After age 1, honey helps. Giving ½ to 2 teaspoons of honey at bedtime can ease cough. (Don’t try this before age 1. Honey can cause botulism in infants.)
  • Remember Reye’s syndrome. Aspirin can cause this deadly illness in kids younger than 12. Use aspirin only if your doctor OKs it.

Advertising Policy