I was quite taken aback by the news, and even a little bit miffed by it when I heard it first. My initial reaction was “Well what are we supposed to give Little Man now – and for the next four years! – when he has a cough or a cold???” But then I thought about it and I realised that we haven’t actually been using specific cough and cold medications for Little Man for quite a while. Through trial and error, we discovered that a spoonful of honey was far more effective at soothing a cough for Little Man than the over-the-counter cough medicine available for his age group. (We had been trying Nelson’s Sootha cough syrup, but Little Man didn’t like taking it, and it didn’t seem to give him any relief.)
According to the IMB press release, the reason these over-the-counter cold medications will no longer be sold to children under 6 is that there are few proven benefits to using these products with this age group, and the risks associated with them outweigh the benefits.
The press release also clarifies that products containing paracetamol and ibuprofen can continue to be used to reduce high temperatures and relieve symptoms, so it looks like we will be sticking with the spoonfuls of honey together with Calpol or Neurofen for any colds or coughs in future.