With Poppy suffering from her first cold at 6 months old, I wanted to share some information about a very popular children’s medicine, which could do more harm than good. I think people often turn to medicine unnecessarily to simply feel like they are doing something. The truth is that a lot of the time all your baby needs is a little TLC.
Ingredients (straight from the label today) in a very popular children’s medicine (you know the one!):
- E420 (Sorbitol): It’s use is prohibited in infants under 1 as it may cause severe diarrhoea. (note that use of any sweeteners is prohibited in foods for infants and young children, clearly they are considered unhealthy and yet we give them in medicine at the very time we want to help make our child healthy again)
- E214 (Ethyl parahydroxybenzoate): suspected hormone disruptor, Banned in France and Australia. Not recommended for consumption by children.
- E216 (Propyl parahydroxybenzoate): A preservative commonly found in lotions, shampoos etc. Suspected hormone disruptor and allergen. Possible contact allergen. Banned in France and Australia. Not recommended for consumption by children.
- E218 (Methyl parahydroxybenzoate): A paraben preservative that is a suspected hormone disruptor and allergen. Banned in France and Australia. Can cause asthma, insomnia and skin problems. See next ingredient for more information on this
- E122: This chemical compound gives the medicine that pink colour and strawberry flavour but it is a suspected carcinogen (cancer causing). Banned in Austria, Japan, Norway, Sweden and the US. Can cause allergic reactions , water retention and rash and is also associated with asthma and insomnia. Not recommended for consumption by children. Both E122 and E218 have been linked to hyperactivity, and the Hyperactive Children’s Support Group identifies them as likely causes of hyperactive behavioral disorders in children.
- Maltitol (E965): This is an artificial sweetener, and is associated with abdominal pain, diarrhoea and excessive gas.
- Paracetamol: I haven’t even taken painkillers myself for a very long time. I found this on another website, “One of the commonest causes of liver failure in the UK. If it were submitted for licensing today it would not gain the approval of the UK’s Committee on Safety of Medicines as an over-the-counter drug. It has been associated with kidney damage and asthma. Some researchers caution against using drugs to block fever in case it interferes with normal immune development in the brain, resulting in neurological disorders in susceptible children” (Green Health Watch News).
Credits image: donnierayjones (CC)
If you need more reason to stop using this medicine then please take a look at this interesting article highlighting the shocking results of a recent study into this over used children’s medicine: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2421533/Babies-given-Calpol-just-month-times-likely-develop-asthma.html
“Those in the younger age group who were given the medicine at least once a month were 5.4 more times likely to have asthma and those given it just once a year were 70 per cent more at risk.”
Of course there are many things you can do to help your poorly child naturally, such as homeopathic remedies, plenty of fluids and good foods. I will post more about this another time, but just remember that in almost all cases a fever is a GOOD thing. It shows that your child’s body is working hard to fight the illness. By using over the counter meds to bring that temperature down you will only mask the symptoms but prolong the illness as you prevent the body from fighting the infection. If the fever is particularly high you may want to try and reduce it by cooling the child down. Of course all other symptoms should be taken into consideration and a very high fever in a baby under three months should be taken seriously. For more information on child illness and fever, Dr Robert Mendelsohn’s ‘How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor’ is a good, common sense book.
Disclaimer: The above advice is my personal opinion, based on my own research. Whilst I am confident with my research and our decision not to use these products, I am not a doctor and you should make an informed decision on what to do if your child is unwell.