The average child will have six to 10 colds per year. Evaluating
treatment options is especially important in people with multiple
sensitivities such as those with autism, ADD and ADHD. Dyes,
preservatives and artificial sweeteners are a problem for sensitive
children, causing an increase in asthma symptoms, allergic
reactions and hyperactivity.
Kim Gould, a pharmacist specializing in autism, ADHD and
allergies at PURE Compounding Pharmacy in Naperville ([email protected]),
suggests the following to treat symptoms of cold and flu in
children with special needs:
1. Try non-medicinal treatment options first. For example, for
congestion use moist heat such as warm compresses to the face and
warm showers. Saline nasal sprays and nasal irrigation thin out
mucus, decrease post nasal drip and remove viruses/bacteria from
2. Give plenty of liquids to help decrease the mucus. Warm liquids
work best; adding honey to tea helps with coughs. Avoid caffeinated
products since they promote dehydration.
3. Give vitamin C and zinc at the onset of symptoms to reduce the
length of a cold. Zinc lozenges may also soothe the throat and
reduce coughing. Gould's favorite is a zinc lozenge with slippery
4. Accurate temperature-taking is important. For active or
touch-sensitive children, easy-to-use forehead scanning
thermometers are available.
5. Only Ibuprofen is recommended for fever, headache and body aches
in people with autism. Acetaminophen is thought to reduce the
levels of glutathione (an antioxidant deficient in people with
6. Many children with special needs are on prescription drugs, so
be sure to check for drug interactions when giving a
non-prescription medication or remedy by calling your pharmacist or
going online to use the interaction checker at www.drugs.com.
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