Can little kids become addicted to cough syrup?

colleen777November 10, 2007

I have some real concerns regarding my stepdaughter giving her daughter age 3.5 cough syrup every night.

This little girl has spent 30 nights with us during the past year mostly with her mother too. In each and every one of those nights the little girl was administered cough syrup. I find that most strange. To me it seems the cough syrup is being used as a sedative.

Am I wrong? Does this happen?

ps: I am only allowed to refer to myself by my first name;)

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I'd be concerned! Cough syrup has a high concentration of alcohol, and as more and more studies come in, it appears the effects of alcohol on children's brains is worse than suspected. Of course, it's a very small amount... Do you know a doctor you can check with?

    Bookmark   November 10, 2007 at 10:49PM
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No, no doctor. And of course I am not allowed myself to pursue the matter, but I do want to know if I am way off base on this because this little girl cannot go to sleep unless she has her cough syrup.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2007 at 10:59PM
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Doesnt sound good...Especially because recent studies suggest that cough syrups actually DO NOTHING for a cough.

Is it a prescribed cough syrup? Or OTC? Unless it is prescribed by a doctor,it sure sounds like a problem. Anyone remember that story about a year ago where the mother and father over dosed their child on medicine?
Apparently they gave it to her to make her go to sleep.
I really hope this isnt what your stepdaughter is doing.

I would keep an eye on it if you can.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2007 at 11:11PM
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You're NOT way off base. And I'm not saying you have to ask the little girl's pediatrician. ANY pediatrician, probably any doctor or even pharmacist should be able to answer the question.

Especially since she's having trouble falling asleep without it.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2007 at 1:08AM
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If your the one who has to administer it don't .... children who have a "cough" have one for a reason if she goes to the doctors and an adult who could talk to a doctor told that doctor they were giving that child cough medicine every night the dr. would want to know why.

Yes they can become addicted to it ...

Have you tried to "trick" the little girl into taking something else... telling her its the med.

Is it cough medicine or benedryl?

I have used the benendryl hoping the "side effect" of sleeping would do the trick but for an extended period of time. A couple weeks max. Once a childs body gets in the habit of sleeping at a certain time the child will no longer need the benedryl. My SS12 had terrible insomnia ... up til 2 am back up at 5am ... was terribly cranky all day in trouble at school all the time. He still does not require much sleep but he is usually asleep by 10-11 pm now. and his troubles at school have basically gone away. When my son was 2 same thing he just would not sleep ... at night ... doctor said benendryl for a few weeks. Half a childs dose. not the full dose.

With my SS I told his doctor he did not sleep at night and his doctor prescribed benendryl for a few weeks to get his body used to the idea of sleeping.

If its been a "year" of giving her something to sleep there's something not right.

What does hubby say about giving her the med? Is he ok with it?

    Bookmark   November 11, 2007 at 11:37AM
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sounds like it's waay past time to worry about what's "allowed" by the person who's dosing her child every night-

this child needs an advocate.

If you can't do it yourself, & it sounds like there's a lot of pressure in your life, please talk to Child Protective;

Administering a "cough remedy" every single night is no different from drugging the child with alcohol in any other form or from giving her other drugs.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2007 at 6:12PM
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There are all sorts of cough medicine....some are nothing more than an aromatic flavored sweet designed to soothe the throat in the same way the old fashioned remedy of honey and lemon did, others contain codine and others contain gyuafenacin which loosens secretions and allows the chest to clear...and still others contain decongentants and/ or antihistamines which make the person sleepy and relieve excess secretions and runny and stuffy noses.
What kind of cough medicine is it?
It's very likely that one dose once a day will do no physiological harm, but for perhaps causing tooth decay from the sugar content at bed time. I suspect that it's become part of the routine...just as my son was "addicted" to his little glass of milk out of the special green glass.
I very VERY much doubt that any harm will come to the little girl from the alcohol in a child's dose of cough syrup, but think she sould be not learning the a dose of something is the way to go to sleep.
Find out what kind of cough syrup it is and ask your pharmacist what effects might come out of taking a dose of that every night.
By the much of a dose is she taking? A full dose for a child of her age? Or twice that? Or just a tiny bit on the spoon so she thinks she has had some?
Linda C

    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 1:43PM
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It is Tylenol with Acetaminophen. I never give it to her. Of course I am not there all the time so I couldn't say anything 100%. But I did notice the little girl was being given cough syrup at bedtime even when she wasn't sick.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 9:20PM
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