Vicks VapoRub Can Hurt Toddlers and Babies



Vicks VapoRub dangerous to toddlers

Vicks VapoRub

When I was little, I have a very clear memory of my mom slathering on a big goopy smear of Vicks VapoRub underneath my nostrils before bed anytime I had a bad cold. It burned like a SOB, but wow, did those menthol fumes feel good working their way through my clogged airways.

 I'm sorry to tell you this, Mom, but the directions on the classic adult remedy specifically state NOT to put it under noses, and to definitely not use in children under 2. (Today there is toned-down Baby version available.)

But some mothers today are still swabbing baby and toddler noses, and doctors are finding that this leads to severe breathing problems. According to a recent study in the journal CHEST, the full-strength Vicks can increase mucus production and inflammation in young children.

CafeMoms don't report any problem with Vicks or the Baby version and will continue to use it on their children as directed. Many, hashing it out in The CafeMom Newcomers Club, say they only use Vicks on their childrens backs, chest, and feet. As one mom there says, "Read the directions, people!"

"I've been using the baby version since my son was 7months old and congestion has always been a problem," says another mom, billysmami. "I DON"T use it under his nose because when he is congested he rubs his nose with his hand and he will probably rub it all over his face without knowing. I rub his chest and back. BTW, he is 2.5 now and I have never had a problem."

Still, the news is a good reminder to always read the dosage directions before you give your toddler medicine of any kind -- either OTC or prescription. While you may think you remember how to administer it correctly, just remember about our overloaded mommy brains. Taking a few seconds for a label check could easily prevent a dangerous mistake.

health, safety


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

lovin... lovinallofthem

thanks.. it will always cause moms to discuss its use.. but my grandmother used it, my mom used it, and i use it.. and i've never had a problem with any of my babies.. i LOVE Vicks!! simple smile

Alyss... AlyssaH87

Wow I can't believe anyone would be stupid enough to put it under someone's nostrils.. Like DUH!  Your supposed to put it on the chest or back, NEVER on the face!!!

Lanasmom Lanasmom

So thats why i can't smell anything!  lol - But really i used it put under my nose--but i wouldn't do it to a child.

NSeni NSeni

I put it under my nose when i am sick but i wouldn't do that to my son bc he rubs his nose all the time and it would get all over the place.

IDrea... IDreamOfSiggies

I use baby Vicks on my 2 younger ones and used it on my 7 y/o when he was a baby.  I works just as well and the adult version.

Mystr... MystryMom

I was relieved when they came out with the toned down baby version because I could never use the full strength version.  I use the baby version on myself and my daughter whenever we are really congested, but never on the face.  I have also fallen in love with those Breath Rite Strip you see advertised on the TV.  I've been using those for my daughter and she sleep a lot better now because she can breath easier.Just remember to read the directions.sunglasses mini

jms124 jms124

My son's pulmonologist (SP?) told us this shouldn't be used on asthmatics since it causes the brain to think the airways are open when they may not be.  Very dangerous for kids with breathing issues.

We don't use it, I can never remember it being used on me either.

LisaAnnM LisaAnnM

AlyssaH87 - not very nice to call people stupid.  And mom would be in that group and I take offense to that.  My mom is 83 and has used Vick's for years.  She would rub my chest and back with the stuff (which as a child I hated) and them after the rub would take a tip of a finger on the hand she rubbed with and touch my nose.  Just enough to open the head up.  I use the baby stuff and I only use it on my DD chest, back and most important her FEET!  It works well on the feet! Vicks has been around since the beginning of time and I really don't think there have been any known deaths from it.

Hadas... HadassasMommy

SO timely! I just used Vick's on my daughter for the first time last night! (i hadn't read this until today) I to remember my mom putting it on my nostrils and wondered  if I should put it on my daughter's. But when reading the directions to see if I should put it on her at all (she is almost 3) I found my answer!  I know my mom did her best to raise me well, but I clearly remember children's chewable aspirin!  Medical indications change over the years, so a fresh look at the directions is always best.

mommy... mommy2macon

they have baby vicks vapor rub at the store.

1-10 of 28 comments 123 Last