For some children, despite their parents’ best efforts, sleep doesn’t come easily. If your child’s attempt to fall into a restful slumber results in a struggle each night, he may suffer from a sleep disorder. While the FDA does not recommend any sleeping medications for children, some doctors opt to use sleep-aid medicine in an “off-label” fashion. When a doctor uses a drug “off-label,” he is using the drug in a way that it wasn’t originally intended. These “off-label” sleep aids likely pose little risk to your child and, with a doctor’s guidance, may prove to be the answer to his struggles.
ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is a syndrome characterized by impulsivity, inattentiveness, hyperactivity and distractibility. While many medications, generally stimulants, are in widespread use in treating children with ADHD, they can have serious side effects. Some parents of children with ADHD prefer alternative therapies to prescription drugs, although claims of health benefits are not borne out by compelling research to date.
Medications cannot treat autism, but are sometimes used to treat symptoms associated with autism and autism spectrum disorders. Doctors treat symptoms including obsessive-compulsive behaviors, depression, anxiety and hyperactivity in children with autism using drugs developed for these conditions. Parents may also consider asking for medication to improve severe behavioral issues, including aggression, self-injury and tantrums.
A fever is the body’s way of fighting off infection. In most cases, fever is a normal response and is not dangerous. When a child is sick, his immune system releases chemicals that increase the body temperature. Infants and children sometimes run a fever after getting immunizations. Low-grade fevers can usually treated effectively at home with over-the-counter (OTC) medications. Consult with your child’s doctor for the best way to bring down a fever.