Why You Shouldn’t Give Decongestants to Children

For many years parents (myself included) have a tough time dealing with feelings of helplessness, while their child or children endure the symptoms while waiting for the cold to run its course (which can take 7-10 days). This is especially true for parents of young children who are much more sensitive to pain and discomfort and typically have 6-8 colds per year vs adults who usually have 2-4 colds per year (Gwaltney, 2002; Witek, Ramsey, Carr, and Riker, 2015).   For many years, such parents have been treating their young, often very uncomfortable children’s cold symptoms with over-the-counter (OTC) medications.  These are often recommended by Pediatricians as a means to relieve some of the symptomology allowing for improved sleep, and an increased level of comfortability for the child.

One such type of medication that has been recommended and utilized by parents to help their young children are decongestants.  Children’s decongestants come in a wide variety of brands and flavors (think bubblegum, cherry, grape, and many more) helping the child ingest the medication.  While these medications do help to reduce some such symptoms, providing much needed relief as well as sleep for both the child and the parent(s), experts have now concluded that decongestants should not be given to children younger than age 6 and if given to children younger than 12, it should be done so with caution. Although thought to be helpful, “there is no evidence of these products alleviate nasal symptoms in young children and there is evidence they cause adverse effects that include drowsiness and gastrointestinal upset,” wrote a group of physicians lead by Mieke van Driel, MD, PhD, Head, Primary Care Clinical Unit & Head, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Queensland, Australia (BMJ, 2018).
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New 2018-2019 Flu Vaccine Recommendations: CDC & American Academy of Pediatrics

Last year, the flu was responsible for 179 pediatric deaths.  That was the most pediatric deaths caused by Influenza since the 2009-2010 H1N1 strain of the flu often referred to as “Swine Flu.”  It wasn’t just the most deadly in 7 years, but also resulted in the most hospitalizations during that same time period for all Americans ages 0 – 17 years old.
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2016: 63,632 Drug Deaths. Double in 2017?

By Matthew E. Dash, LCSW Email Icons - Black245671 - reporter's byline envelope
December 27, 2017
Note: This was originally written 12/27/17 but not posted.  I was on a writing roll, but unforunately my verocity resulted in this unpublished post.  It’s never a bad time to consider the reality of the opioid crisis and finding this article has me thinking about what has actually been done since a State of Emergency was declared regarding this epidemic.  More on that to follow in a future post.  Stay tuned!


In 2016, the age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths in the United States was more than three times the rate in 1999.

Last month, In December, the U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics released NCHS Data Brief 294 (Hedegaard & Miniño, 2017). This 8 page report shook me to the core for many reasons. Let’s look at some of the the ‘Key Findings’: Read more ›

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Censoring the CDC Puts Americans in Danger


DISCLAIMER: This is not a political article. Yes, it contains news related to politics, however, this article is meant to educate and be helpful by pointing out the potential impact for all of our well-beings – both individually and collectively. Within the facts that follow, should any opinion or statements that are taken or are personal opinion be found offensive, I urge you play through. It’s all part of the fun. Seriously though, I hope you read this in the spirit in which it was written – to be educational, enlightening, and helpful. Apologies for any misinterpretation. I have no agenda in this article beyond our well-being. That said, I hope we can all lighten up and focus on our health and the health of our children which can be impacted by law, policy and regulation. However, I’m not addressing those things as much as I am censorship as it relates to healthcare. Bottom line, it’s much easier to just read this article than have me pre-qualify its intentions. As always, I’m wishing you and yours health and happiness.
PS The George Carlin video contains language some may find offensive. If you click on his video below and are offended, what can I say except, it’s George Carlin! What did you expect!!!

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Kellyanne Conway Now Opioid Czar / Mickey Mouse to be Sec. of State


While I try to avoid political discussions here, sometimes it is unavoidable in order to adequately address issues related to mental health.

I have written much, here and elsewhere for over 5 years about the opioid epidemic. As I have stated more than predicted, this crisis is not going to get better anytime soon. This is a rare situation where I am sad to have been correct in my predictions.

Take preliminary 2016 numbers from the Federal Government:
An estimated 50,000 Americans lost their lives to opioids in 2016.

To put that number in perspective, consider that number is greater than:
– The number of Americans killed in combat in Vietnam.
– The number of Americans that died during the worst year of the AIDS crisis.
– The number of Americans that die annually from car accidents.
– The number of Americans that die annually from gun violence.

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1 in 5 US Children Solicited for Sex via Cyberstalking

While Cyberbullying is a term we have all heard many times in the news, usually in the form of horrendous incidents in which a group of teens have shown a mob mentality while encouraging a peer to go through with their thoughts of suicide.

Cyberstalking, on the other hand, is different and much more vague in its definition, but at its core, is predatory behavior and very frightening as it is historically under-reported.   Read more ›

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[HINT: It’s not Student Debt, Lack of Health Insurance, or Internet Addiction]


The drug industry spent $106 million between 2014 and 2016 lobbying Congress on a bill now a law, which removed the DEA’s long relied upon ability to freeze suspicious narcotic shipment from drug makers (and other legislation), The passing of that Bill removes the DEA’s ability to use one of its most effective weapons preventing prescription opiates made by pharmaceutical companies from getting to the streets.   Read more ›

Depression & Suicide: A Match Made in Hell

Did a High Dose of A Benzodiazepine Put Chris Cornell in a Psychiatric or Psychotic Episode Likely Amnesiac?

Plus Excepts from The Rolling Stone Interview as “Superunknown” Turns Twenty:  Clear Evidence of a Musical Genius’ Tortured Soul



In 2014 Soundgarden, and their frontman, Chris Cornell sat for an extensive interview with Rolling Stone Magazine as it was the 20 year anniversary of the band’s hugely successful album, ‘Superunknown,’

He discussed a wide array of topics including topics including Depression, Isolation, Suicide. and the death of his friend Andrew Wood as well as the death of Kurt Cobain. Here are but a few excerpts that give insight into the musician’s psyche and the darkness he struggled with.   Read more ›

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“The world is locked in a struggle between love and fear. Choose love. It is the world’s oldest medicine.”

The above quote was posted by Vivek Murthy, MD, better known as the Surgeon General soon after surprisingly being removed from the position despite having served only half of his 4-year term.

This is not a piece about politics as the Surgeon General position is one of the few that historically is not replaced when the the President who appointed them leaves office and a new administration even from the opposing party steps into power. Often that Surgeon General finishes out their term and the respect and importance of the position transcends party lines for the sake and health of Americans.   Read more ›

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ADHD’s Failing Formula = Ignore Behavioral Guidelines + Meds = Frustration [Circular Reference]


In 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released clinical practice guidelines for the diagnosis, evaluation, AND treatment of ADHD in Children and Adolescents. Those guidelines advise clinicians to consider these youths as having special health care needs and specifically emphasize psychological services including behavioral therapy be used as first-line therapy.

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in Atlanta, Georgia, states that only 55% of Children and Adolescents with the disorder receive some sort of psychological service that may include behavioral therapy. The investigators at the CDC failed to find any increase in the use of psychological services overall. In fact, they found a small decrease in the percentage of children and adolescents receiving psychological services since the release of these guidelines in 2011.   Read more ›

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