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Dr. Kim Mulvihill reporting The cold and flu season is underway. But with pediatric cold and cough medicines off store shelves and under scrutiny, parents are scrambling for a solution.
One such solution is a very sweet treatment. How about trying a little honey?
According to a new study in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, the children who got honey had less cough and better sleep, and the parents had better sleep too.
In a study funded by the honey industry, researchers gave sick children a dose of honey before bedtime. They found it was more effective than an over-the-counter cold medicine at calming a cough. How? A leading theory says honey can soothe the throat.
Honey also contains antioxidants. Studies show it may help fight disease causing germs, and the researchers say the darker the honey, the bigger the benefits.
But a big word of warning: honey should never ever be given to kids under the age of one. It has botulism spores and young children can absorb those spores and get very sick with botulism, which can be life-threatening.
Sounds scary, but doctors say honey is a safe alternative to ease a cough in kids two and older.
In this study scientists used Buckwheat Honey and gave kids two to five years old a half a teaspoon before bedtime. Children six to 11 took a full teaspoon, and older kids were given two teaspoons.