A group of US pediatricians say that parents should consider treating their children’s cough or cold with home remedies as opposed to over-the-counter products.

Like all medications, even cold and could remedies available without a prescription can cause serious side effects in young children, the American Academy of Pediatrics cautions.

Because of the risks, the US FDA in 2008 recommended that children younger than 4 years old never be treated with over-the-counter cough and cold medicines.

Children between 4 and 6 years old should only take these remedies under the direction of their doctor, the academy said in a news release. But children older than 6 can safely take over-the-counter drugs if the dosage instructions on the package are followed correctly.

There are safer, more convenient and less costly ways to provide sick kids with some relief from such symptoms as a stuffy nose and coughing, the academy advised.

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