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Friday, March 13, 2009

Ban on children’s cough syrup

News on the ban of children’s cough syrup by hospitals in Kenya shocked many parents including me. This is after “Scientists in the United States of America have for the past two years questioned the effectiveness of the syrup and even suggested that it may have been responsible for some deaths among children” according to Thursday Daily Nation.

Many of us parents of today are not patient with a coughing child, when a child’s cough does not go away after two days, we would never think of home remedies like our parents did and because we do not want to have sleepless nights because of our busy lives, we would rush to the nearby chemist and buy cough syrup for our kids over-the-counter because we think cough syrups are not harmful. Chemists all over town and estates also sell many of them over-the-counter without prescription.

Many of these medicines were not there in the past, so parents of those days preferred to use home remedies for children’s cough, they would only take them to hospital if it persisted for a long time. Some home remedies my mum and grandmothers used are honey and lemon in warm water, the other one is lemon and a pinch of magadi soda (from Lake Magadi for making salt) in warm water.

We thought cough syrups were clearing our children’s cough’s yet according to the report, “the mixtures are neither safe nor do they have any curative value”. They are dangerous to infants under two years and not yet clear for use in older children between 2 to 12 years.

So it would be safer to use natural remedies like our parents and grandparents and seek professional medical advice when it persists to get alternative medication.

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