My cousin who’s not long ago become a mom to a baby boy just pass me on this news, well this might be useful especially during cold & flu season like now:
Putting menthol products such as Vicks VapoRub on children to ease their colds may cause breathing problems, according to a report from Wake Forest University.
Dr. Bruce K. Rubin said rather than clearing congestion or easing a cough, it can stimulate mucus production and inflame airways.
“Infants and young children have airways that are much narrower than those of adults, so any increase in mucus or inflammation can narrow them more severely,” he said.
Rubin said that while many people like to use Vicks to treat colds, there is not much data to show that it works. He said it can also cause inflammation in the eyes, mental status changes, lung inflammation, liver damage, constriction of airways and allergic reactions.
After hearing of an infant who had breathing problems after having Vicks put under her nose, Rubin began doing tests in ferrets, which have respiratory systems that mimic infants.
A news release on Rubin’s work noted that the packaging on Vick’s VapoRub already warns against using it on children under the age of 2. And he wants to go further.
“I recommend never putting Vicks in, or under, the nose of anybody — adult or child,” Rubin said. “Some of the ingredients in Vicks, notably the menthol, trick the brain into thinking that it is easier to breathe by triggering a cold sensation, which is processed as indicating more airflow. Vicks may make you feel better, but it can’t help you breathe better.”
Rubin also said that if a child is struggling to breathe, she should be seen by a doctor as quickly as possible. His study appeared in this month’s issue of the journal Chest.