Pros: Relieves cold symptoms quickly, for a long period of time; cherry flavored; clear, won't stain.
Cons: A bit pricy.
Just a couple of weeks before leaving for a cross-country trip, my daughter and I visited her pediatrician for a well-baby visit. I was sure to ask during her exam if there were any precautions I should take during our flight and our stay in California since she would be just shy of three months old at the time; no, he told me, everything would be fine - but she would probably catch a cold from the change in climate and the compressed cabin air on the plane.
Riiiight, I thought, a little airplane ride is going to make my baby sick. She survived all winter as a delicate newborn with not the slightest bit of a sniffle, and something as simple as air would make her sick? Sure, doc. About three weeks later, we were back home from San Francisco, having visited during a period of record heat. My baby was perfectly healthy.
For a few days. And then the cold hit her hard. Coughing, sneezing, sniffling, she had the works. Oh no - baby's first cold! Unwilling to call the pediatrician and admit that he had been right, I sent my husband to the drug store to find something appropriate for a young baby's cold. When the goop that returned with hadn't worked in about three days though, I swallowed my pride and called the doctor's office.
~* A Clear Cherry? *~
The nurse on call recommended Infants' PediaCare Decongestant & Cough drops, and I dutifully ran to the store to make the purchase. After a brief perusal of the legions of cough and cold remedies lining the shelves of a nearby CVS, I located the correct formula - 5 fluid ounces (15 mL) in a bright red and white box for $5.99. Upon returning home and opening the box, I found a tiny translucent bottle with white rubber-tipped dropper already in place, a printed plastic security band wrapped around the outside of the bottle. (This product should never be used if the outer carton has been opened prior to purchase, or if the imprinted plastic bottle wrap was broken or missing.)
The product packaging boasted of a "new improved" cherry taste to the clear, non-staining syrupy medicine. PediaCare Decongestant & Cough is formulated to "deliver fast, effective relief of your infant's stuffy nose and cough" and are only to be taken orally.
It is recommended that this medicine be stored away from light, preferably in the original cardboard carton, at room temperature (68-77 F or 20-25 C). There is an expiration date printed on the bottom of each outer box - in the case of my own, about a year and a half after the original purchase date. For safety's sake, medicines should never be administered past their expiration date.
~* Directions *~
Directions on the package are as follows: Take by mouth only; not for nasal use. Children 2-3 years should take 2 dropperfuls (1.6 mL) - if needed, repeat this dose every 4-6 hours, not to exceed four doses in 24 hours. For children under two years of age, consult a doctor or pediatrician prior to use.
~* A Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go Down *~
Since my daughter is less than two years old, I was certainly glad I had asked the nurse at our pediatrician's office about the correct dosage amount prior to purchasing this product. In our case, one dropperful (0.8 mL) was recommended.
After wrestling with the packaging and finally getting the bottle open, I noticed a distinct cherry scent coming from within. Huh, guess it really is cherry-flavored! True to the product's claim, though, the syrup-consistency medicine inside was very nearly clear, with just the slightest hint of milky white to make it visible in the dropper. The dropper itself is a translucent white color with dosage amounts printed on the sides in bright red, making it very easy to read.
As you already know if you've ever administered liquid using a dropper, filling it to the correct amount is rather difficult, and this product was no exception. Even though I was directed to administer a full dropper of the medication, that pesky air bubble ensured that I squeezed and squeezed for several minutes before I was finally happy with the amount in the dropper. And now, the moment of truth...
At the time, my daughter was still unable to sit without support, so I propped her in her Boppy pillow to (hopefully) make swallowing easier. She wasn't about to willingly open her mouth, so I carefully worked the dropper into one corner, aimed into her cheek, and squeezed about half of the contents out. What a confused looking baby I had as she smacked her lips and dribbled a bit down her chin before swallowing the majority of the contents. Happy that no tantrum had ensued, I squeezed the rest into her cheek with similar results. While some did dribbled down her chins (yes, chins) and onto her clothes - which I had failed to cover with a bib - the clear medicine wiped off easily and did not stain her clothing at all.
As with any cold medicine, nothing happened immediately - but it certainly wasn't long. After just ten or fifteen minutes, I noticed that she wasn't coughing, sneezing or sniffling as much, and that she was much happier than she had been earlier in the day. For the first time in days, she was able to eat without first having her nose cleaned with the dreaded snot sucker. She was a happy baby, and I was a happy Mommy.
For about three and a half hours, all symptoms of her cold practically disappeared. Gradually she started coughing and sneezing again, then sniffling - so at four hours, I gave her another dose, and once again the symptoms dissipated.
~* Not A Cure *~
Naturally, PediaCare doesn't claim that this product will cure your child's cold, only temporarily relieve symptoms. I gave my daughter three doses per day for three days before her cold finally went away on its own - making it a total of seven days that my poor little girl was sick - but at least for the last three days of the cold, she was practically symptom-free.
Our bottle of Infants' PediaCare Decongestant & Cough has now been relegated to a closet shelf with the other assortment of items that she doesn't use regularly - but this is one Mommy that feels a little more secure knowing that I have it on hand when another cold rears it's ugly head.
~* Ingredients *~
The active ingredients in each 0.8 mL of PediaCare Decongestant & Cough include dextromethorphan HBr 2.5 mg (cough suppressant) and pseudoephedrine HCI 7.5 mg (nasal decongestant).
Inactive ingredients include citric acid, flavor, glycerin, purified water, sodium benzoate and sorbitol.
~* WARNINGS *~
Taken from product packaging: "Do not use in a child who is taking a prescription monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) (certain drugs for depression, psychiatric, or emotional conditions, or Parkinson's disease), or for 2 weeks after stopping the MAOI drug. If you do not know if your child's prescription drug contains an MAOI, ask a doctor or pharmacist before giving this product.
Ask a doctor before use if the child has: a persistent or chronic cough such as occurs with asthma, a cough accompanied by excessive phlegm (mucus), heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid disease.
When using this product do not exceed recommended dosage.
Stop use and ask a doctor if:
* nervousness, dizziness or sleeplessness occur
* cough persists for more than one week, tends to recur or is accompanied by fever, rash, or persistent headache. A persistent cough may be sign of a serious condition.
* symptoms do not improve within 7 days, or are accompanied by fever
Keep out of reach of children. In case of overdose, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away."
~* Contact Information *~
PediaCare products are manufactured by Pharmacia Consumer Healthcare, recently acquired by Pfizer Inc. Questions and comments about over-the-counter medications may be directed to Pfizer Consumer Products. Call 1-800-223-0182
Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST.