Honey is generally believed to be safe outside of the
infant population (it may cause botulism, a potentially fatal
disease, in infants under one). Honey is also known to have
antibacterial properties and is cited by the World Health
Organization as a potential treatment for upper respiratory
infections. In a recent study comparing honey, dextromethorphan,
and no treatment, parents of children with colds rated honey the
highest for relief of their child’s cough and sleep problems. As
a result, the authors concluded, honey is likely a better
treatment for the cough and sleep difficulty associated with
childhood upper respiratory tract infections. Suggested dosing
is: 2-5 years - 1/2 teaspoon, children 6-11 years - 1 teaspoon,
and children 12-18 years - 2 teaspoons every 6-8 hours as
needed.4 Use caution when administering honey to a child with a
personal or family history of allergies as allergic reactions are
known to occur with honey.
The information provided in this handout does not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Minnesota Medical School physicians and faculty. These materials are provided for informational purposes only and are in no way intended to take the place of the advice and recommendations of your personal health care provider. You use the information provided in these handouts at your own risk.
“Is Honey Better for Your Child’s Cough Due to the Common Cold than Dextromethorphan (e.g. - Robitussin)?”.
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