Is Pepto Bismol for Kids?
Pepto Bismol is no longer recommended for use by children under 12. Since spring of 2004, the FDA required that products containing bismuth remove the children’s directions for use. Pepto Bismol for kids under 12 is now just Pepto for kids, and does not contain any bismuth. Pepto for Kids does not treat diarrhoea or loose stools. If your child has loose stools or diarrhoea, please contact your doctor for treatment options. Most of the time young children get diarrhoea it is caused by a virus.
Although people like to call it the stomach flu, these viruses usually have nothing to do with seasonal influenza, which only causes cough and fever. The best way to treat these viruses is to provide plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration and allow his or her body to recover on its own, without medication. It usually only takes a maximum of three days for the body to recover from a virus. If your child is experiencing symptoms and has not improved for longer than three days, you may need to contact your child’s doctor. Extended periods of diarrhea or severe diarrhea can be dangerous, particularly if the child becomes dehydrated.
However, there are plenty of times when you child may have an upset tummy or indigestion, which should be treated with an over-the-counter medication that does not include bismuth. It is generally not considered wise to give children under 12 Pepto Bismol, which is still considered a safe and effective medicine when used by adults.
There’s no Bismuth in Pepto Bismol for Kids
Bismuth subsalicylate, which is the “Bismol” in “Pepto Bismol”, is a safe, effective treatment option for adults with occasional diarrhea. However, bismuth subsalicylate is chemically similar to aspirin, which is actually dangerous for children.
Particularly if it is given during viral illnesses, bismuth can even play a part in causing brain damage brought on by Reye’s Syndrome. Bismuth, when used for longer than 6 weeks, can cause a toxic accumulation. In children, it may be difficult to monitor how long the product has been in use. It is best to not have children take it at all.
Recent studies show that bismuth may be ineffective in children under 12. Without considering the other risks, its ineffectiveness should be reason enough not to give bismuth to children for stomach problems.
It’s often recommended that nursing mothers do not take Pepto Bismol or other bismuth-containing drugs because the bismuth can pass through the breast milk and be consumed by the child, theoretically putting the nursing child at risk of Reye’s.
Is there a safer Pepto Bismol for Kids?
There is a children’s Pepto antacid that is designed specifically to treat little upset tummies. Like its adult counterpart, Pepto for kids helps with the symptoms of
heartburn, sour stomach, indigestion, and upset stomach. These symptoms arise in kids for many reasons, most commonly eating too much of something.
Pepto Bismol for kids, now without the bismuth, has a pleasant bubblegum flavor that children love. For maximum safety, ensure that your children only take Pepto for Kids, since other Pepto products may contain bismuth. Read the label thoroughly if you’re not sure if the medicine contains bismuth or not.
Please note that if your child constantly needs to take Pepto, contact his or her doctor. There may be a more serious underlying condition that needs to be addressed.
As this product is for kids it is only recommended for children older than two years of age. Pepto Bismol for Kids is mostly made of calcium and can work as a calcium supplement for children who do not consume enough dairy or calcium-fortified juices.