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Friday, October 19, 2007

I Always Knew that...


Cold medicines were worse than useless.

Whenever my kids had horrid colds and hacking coughs that kept them awake and retching in the sink, oh the late night phone calls to the triage nurse, who surely had better things to do (genuine emergencies such as anaphylactic shock, poison ingestion and the like)! To her credit, she never hesitated to call back and after listening to the symptoms, give us useful hints like "Run the hot water for about 5 minutes and try standing in the steam with the baby". My husband would insist later that I should have asked her what cough syrup would help with the cough, and I always looked at him as though he had dropped in from outer space.

"Why do you think I called the triage nurse? The spoonful of XYZ Cough Formula didn't keep M (or S) from waking up coughing, did it?"

I nevertheless dutifully inquired about the doctor's recommendations for a suitable syrup to soothe the cough, and religiously dosed my kid with a teaspoonful of the stuff at bedtime.

When I grew older, and wiser, I took to treating sore throats and coughs with soothing mixes of honey in warm water, with the occasional dash of squeezed lime juice, or milk with a pinch of spice and sugar (My mother prefers pepper, my mother-in-law, turmeric).

Now, a few years past my patently unscientific conclusion of the inadequacy of cough syrups, the experts in the world of medicine have seen the light! Namely, that the multitudes of brightly colored boxes of soothing syrups don't really work for the under 6's and could even be dangerous, given that so many parents misuse these and overdose them with drugs formulated and tested on adults. All they are good for is filling the pockets of corporations that manufacture and sell millions of bottles worldwide as a panacea.

Never underestimate the perspicacity of Dr.Mom!

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