Kids nasal spray
7 Healthcast: Kids nasal spray
Last week the FDA advised parents not to give over-the-counter cold and cough medicines to children under two, and there is also debate about whether these medications help older kids.
So what should a parent do?
A quick squirt of salt water may spell relief next time your child is fighting a cold or the flu.
A new study says saline nasal spray can help reduce the symptoms of cold or flu in children.
Researchers in the Czech Republic studied more than 400 kids between the ages of 6 and 10 who had the cold or flu. Some got standard cold and cough medicine, while others got the medicine plus a special saline nasal spray used six times a day during the first part of the study, then three times a day.
After eight weeks, the kids with the nasal spray had less severe symptoms than those who got only medicine.
Pediatrician Dr. Katharine Zuckerman isn't surprised a simple saline nasal spray helped.
"I think it's an interesting study," Dr. Zuckerman said. "I think it shows what pediatricians have known for a long time, that some of these home remedies really work."
While the study used a specific brand of saline spray, most doctors say any over the counter saline nasal spray will do.
"The important thing is not to do it too frequently," Dr. Zuckerman said. "You probably want to do it every four hours at the most, because if you overdo it you can inflame the nose."
And while the study was on kids six and older, younger kids can benefit too.
"Pediatricians and parents for a long time have been using this therapy in younger children even infants," Dr. Zuckerman said.
The makers of the saline solution Physiomer, used in the study, also funded the study.
And when it comes to preventing the cold or flu, frequent hand washing is your best bet because the virus is spread by direct contact.
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