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I don’t feel comfortable giving my child cough syrup. Is there something more natural I can use for cold and flu symptoms?
A nagging cough is the most common reason parents bring their kids to my office during the winter. Conventional OTC cough and cold remedies are not only ineffective but can also cause serious adverse effects like seizures or heart rhythm disturbances, and the FDA cautions that children under 2 shouldn’t take them. There are some natural alternatives that are much safer and can be quite effective. To treat coughs in children over age 1, I recommend honey-containing products such as Boiron’s Chestal homeopathic cough syrup ($12, drugstore.com). For the flu, try Sambucol Black Elderberry for Kids syrup ($13, drugstore.com). Studies suggest that black elderberry contains potent antiviral properties that can lessen flu symptoms.

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