Most moms don't hesitate to give our babies a little acetaminophen when they are under the weather and miserable, because we all pretty much follow the same notion: "How bad can a little pain and fever reducer be?"
Well, as it turns out, giving babies acetaminophen may put them at risk for developing asthma once they enter their preschool years. (Isn't that just great?)
According to new research published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, "the more acetaminophen children were given as infants, the more likely they were to develop asthma-like symptoms in early childhood."
And while there are a whole host of other factors that can potentially contribute to asthma, I can't help but wonder if there may be a lot of truth to the link with giving acetaminophen when our kids are infants.
My son is 6 years old, and since he was about 4 years old, he's struggled with asthma-like symptoms whenever he comes down with a cold. And I've always figured his problems stemmed from the fact that my husband suffered from asthma as a kid. (Damn genetics.)
But guess what? When my son was a baby, I never hesitated to give him acetaminophen when he had a fever, or when he was up crying in the middle of the night because of teething pain. (OMG. Has your baby had an ear infection yet? Just WAIT.)
I just couldn't stand the thought of my baby being unhappy and uncomfortable, so I didn't think it could hurt to help ease his symptoms a bit. And since my doctor always assured me that a little pain and fever reducer never hurt, I gave him the recommended dose when he needed it.
But what if the whole reason he now winds up hacking up a lung every time cold and flu season roll around is because I committed a huge mom fail by giving him that medicine? (Great ... one more thing to feel guilty about.)
Now that I know that a potential link exists between acetaminophen and asthma, I asked myself the question of whether or not it would've changed my mind about giving it to him when he was a baby had the research been conducted then.
And my answer? Probably not. And if I had another baby, would I hesitate for one second to give it to him or her to combat a fever or other pain? Again, probably not. (But will this research make some moms think twice about giving it? Yeah, probably.)
Do you give your baby acetaminophen? Does this study make you less likely to do so?
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