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Forget Infant Tylenol Recall, Consider Natural Remedies

Yarrow is one of many natural remedies

It’s that time again—time for another Tylenol recall. This time McNeil Consumer Healthcare has recalled 574,000 bottles of the grape-flavored liquid Infants’ Tylenol® Oral Suspension Liquid because of difficulty with a safety feature concerning the dosing syringe. Given the growing number of Tylenol recalls consumers have experienced over the years, perhaps it’s time for parents to have natural remedies on hand.

How to treat infant colds and fever

Many parents turn to over-the-counter medications to treat their children’s symptoms of cold and flu. For children younger than 2 years of age, one of those medications has been Infant Tylenol Oral Suspension, a flavored liquid acetaminophen, which is indicated for temporarily reducing fever and minor aches and pains associated with the common cold, flu, headache, a toothache, or sore throat.

However, given the uncertainty concerning the safety and availability of over-the-counter medications such as Infant Tylenol, parents may want to have alternatives they can turn to.

Any alternative treatment options should be discussed with your pediatrician, and the best time to have that discussion is as soon as possible, so you will be prepared the next time your infant is ill and you need to make a treatment choice.

Some natural remedies that may help relieve symptoms of cold or flu, such as fever, cough, congestion, and nasal inflammation include the following.

  • Put a few drops of peppermint or mint oil in a vaporizer in the baby’s room
  • Herbal teas that can help reduce fever include catnip, Echinacea, elderflower, gentian, and yarrow. Elderflower can be combined with yarrow or peppermint. Prepare the tea according to package directions and let it cool before giving it to your child. Organic teas are recommended.
  • Fennel tea can help with coughs. Because fennel does not have a pleasant taste, you may need to add a tiny drop of maple syrup (no honey) to sweeten the tea for younger children.
  • Yarrow tea may help with pain associated with toothache and headache, as it has some anti-inflammatory properties
  • The suggested doses are no more than 1 teaspoon three to four times daily for infants younger than 1 year of age; and up to 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) four times daily for children ages 1 to 3 years of age.

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Naturally, if your child’s fever goes higher than 101 F and/or he or she is experiencing trouble breathing or has other worsening symptoms, you should see your doctor as soon as possible.

The Infant Tylenol recall
The situation that lead to this latest Tylenol recall involves “a small number of complaints from consumers” about the dosing syringe which the company recently redesigned to better dispense the proper amount of medication for infants. This change was made because there were concerns expressed by the Food and Drug Administration and drug safety advocates about improper dosing associated with the use of spoons and cups to dispense infants’ liquid medication.

So far, no adverse events have been associated with the recalled product, and McNeil Consumer Healthcare states that the risk of any serious medical event occurring is “remote.” In fact, consumers can continue to use the Tylenol product as long as the flow restrictor at the top of the bottle remains in place.

However, if the syringe is pushed down into the bottle, consumers should not use the product. Consumers can ask for a refund by visiting the website (www.tylenol.com) or calling McNeill at 1-888-222-6036 (Monday-Friday 8 AM to 8 PM Eastern time; Saturday-Sunday 9 AM to 5 PM).

Parents want to be prepared when their children become ill, and so it is best to have several treatment options available to manage the situation. While over-the-counter medications such as Infants’ Tylenol or a generic alternative can be one option, it may be wise to have other possibilities on hand, such as natural remedies that have been discussed previously with the child’s pediatrician or other healthcare provider.

McNeil Consumer Healthcare

Image: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons