Coping with child medicine shortage during spike in illness



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Amid a spike of flu, COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus and other respiratory viruses, a shortage in Children’s Tylenol and other medicines is making it more difficult for parents to take care of their sick children.

“Obviously the shortage comes at the worst possible time, but it really is because there’s just so many individuals that have gotten sick,” said Susan Lonczak, director of health for the Plainville-Southington Health District. “There’s just a really big demand.”

Tips during the shortage

If a parent is in a situation where their child is sick, but they can’t find any children’s medication, Lonczak said “there are basic tried and true things that they can do for their kiddos.”

Lonczak said some of those are encouraging rest, having kids drink a lot of fluids, having children take lukewarm baths, wearing cold compresses and being there for sick children, while also watching their symptoms.

“A fever will run its course, but if it continues or spikes or children are complaining of other symptoms, we encourage obviously calling their pediatrician, but a lot of times you can naturally work through a fever with your child,” Lonczak said.

For a homeopathic remedy for coughs, Dr. Lucia Benzoni, a pediatrician with Hartford HealthCare, suggested using two teaspoons of honey with lemon tea.

“That’s a big thing that we use,” Benzoni said.

Saline nasal spray can help with congestion, along with having a humidifier going by the child’s bed, Benzoni added.

“Use a lot of saline nasal spray,” Benzoni said.

Health professionals say that parents should not give children adult medication and should give their children’s pediatrician a call if they are struggling with a child’s fever and are looking for an alternative medicine to use.

One medication Benzoni mentioned as a homeopathic fever and pain reducer is Arnica, however, dosage is uncertain. Parents should consult with a pediatrician before using any new medications to ensure dosage and type of medication is correct for their child.

“Children’s medication is very specific to weight and age,” Lonczak said. “A parent may think that giving half of an adult sized medication might be OK but it’s not something to play with. If parents are struggling and have concerns, they should just call their pediatrician before opting to do anything that’s not intended for children.”

Kathryn Glendon, public health specialist with the Chesprocott Health District, said now is a good time to go on social media to see if someone may have some children’s medication to spare or know where people can find some.

“There are people that may pick it up for you if they see it,” Glendon said. “Sometimes the stores you don’t think about will have it like Walmart or Aldi’s, Target. So just being in mind of where you shop.”

jsimms@record-journal.com203-317-2279Twitter: @jessica_simms99



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