What parents can do, from pediatricians
What parents can do, from pediatricians
- There are shortages of liquid medicines for children, such as children’s Tylenol.
- Diseases like RSV, influenza and COVID-19 make it difficult for suppliers to keep up with demand.
- Parents should never give aspirin to children under 18 to treat symptoms.
Most parents of school-aged children know that autumn and winter months also come with a number of respiratory diseases cycling through the whole family.
There will not be a time when everyone in the household will be fine, thanks to the petri dishes that are kindergartens and schools. But right now, it seems like all the respiratory diseases in children are hitting at once, and that’s causing big problems, like maintaining ours hospitals full of sick children and concerned parents.
On top of that, there are large ones in some areas of the US drug shortages it is used to treat cold and flu symptoms. Liquid Tylenol for kids is quickly disappearing from the shelves, and parents are understandably freaking out. While FDA has not reported any shortages however, the American Society of Health System Pharmacists has listed some oral ibuprofen to be in short supply. Parents are saying on social media that they can’t find anything in theirs local pharmacies.
Here’s what parents can do about the deficiency.
Why is there a shortage of children’s Tylenol?
A triple threat wave is underway with influenza, respiratory syncytial virus and COVID-19, he said. Dr. Daniel Ganjian, a pediatrician at Providence Saint John Health Center in Santa Monica, California. Of course, many other cold viruses are present, and as a result, many children need medication to reduce pain and fever, he said.
Why does this suddenly seem like the perfect virus storm? This year is worse because we are in the post-pandemic period, Ganjian said.
“During the pandemic, people did not get sick from common viruses thanks to good hygiene, masks and social distancing,” he said. “As a result, everyone’s antibody levels to cold viruses have gone down. Now that people are back to normal, these viruses are spreading.”
Because all of these diseases hit at once, it is difficult for suppliers of these drugs to keep up with demand, he said Dr. Gina Posnerboard-certified pediatrician at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California.
“The most common diseases we deal with are RSV, influenza, COVID, rhinovirus, parainfluenza and adenovirus,” Posner said.
What can parents do about children’s Tylenol shortages?
If you look in smaller stores and buy a generic brand of these drugs, Posner said, you can usually find them.
“You also can’t be too picky about wanting no coloring, just a certain flavor or a certain brand,” she said.
Ganjian added that most drugstore chains have their own versions of children’s Tylenol, which contain the same active ingredient — acetaminophen.
“You can use other pain relievers and fever relievers such as Advil and Motrin, or generic ibuprofen, for children older than 6 months,” he said.
Another key thing for parents to remember, according to Posner, is that your child may not need medication at all.
“It’s okay to have a fever,” she said. “I recommend treatment only if your child is feeling miserable.”
Other ways to lower your child’s fever include cooling your child’s room, dressing in light clothing, making sure they drink plenty of fluids like Pedialyte and giving them popsicles to suck on, Posner said.
But if you’re in the market for children’s Tylenol and kicking, you may be looking for an alternative.
Which medicines are not safe for children?
No matter what, Posner said, never use aspirin to treat symptoms in children under 18. The Mayo Clinic says aspirin has been linked to Reye’s syndrome — swelling of the liver and brain that causes liver and brain damage — in children and teenagers with an underlying condition and may cause confusion, seizures and loss of consciousness.
Parents should not use NSAIDs such as Advil or Motrin on children under 6 months of age and should avoid giving adult medications to children “unless you follow the dosage directions on the package or have spoken with a health care professional,” he said. Ganjian.
How to prevent these respiratory diseases
Maybe it’s time to take off the mask you happily put aside this year and start practicing the same preventative measures we took at the beginning of the pandemic. “Masking works,” Posner said firmly, adding that everyone should wash their hands often and be careful where they go on family outings.
“If you take your child to an indoor gym or playground, chances are they’re going to catch something,” she said. “This would be the time to limit such things.”
Posner also suggested this simple tip: Avoid hanging out with sick people.
“It’s amazing how many parents I have who say they met with a family member who was sick and they’re shocked that their child is now sick,” she said.
Vaccination against viruses for which there are vaccines is also an important step in keeping your children safe and healthy during this rise in respiratory illnesses, according to the transcript of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s media telebriefing held this month.