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Guidelines for safe dosing for children.

Safe dosing for children

Let’s face it, getting kids to take medicine can be a challenge for any parent. And to make matters even more complicated, there are serious side effects to giving too much or too little. Here are some guidelines to proper dosing for children.

1. Under Six? Speak to your doctor first

Do not give cough and cold medicines to children under six years of age without talking to your health care practitioner first.1,2

2. Children aren’t strong enough for adult-strength

Do not give adult-strength medicine to a child.2

3. Treat the symptoms

Use only the medicine that treats your child’s specific symptoms. Ask a healthcare provider which ingredient is right for your child’s needs.

4. Stick with specific dosing devices

Always use the dosing device that comes with the product you have purchased, such as droppers and cups.2

5. More sick doesn’t necessarily mean more medicine

Carefully follow the dosing and length-of-use instructions displayed on the package and bottle of Robitussin products. Never increase a dose because your child seems more sick than before.2

6. Avoid same active ingredients

Never give your child two or more medicines with the same active ingredient at the same time.2

7. Some medicines don’t mix

Always talk to your healthcare provider before giving your child more than one over-the-counter (non-prescription) medication. Sometimes the medicine you choose can interact with other health products your child may be taking.2

8. There are dye-free options

If your child has an allergy to a dye, or if you wish to avoid staining, choose a dye-free Robitussin product.

9.  Keep medicines out of reach

Store all medicines where children can’t see or reach them.

10. Where you store is important

Always store Robitussin medicines in a dry place at room temperature (15°C-30°C).

11. Original containers are the safer bet

Keep all Robitussin medicines in their original containers to avoid giving the wrong medicine by mistake.

12. Check the label

Check product labels as some formulas, such as Bedtime formulas, may make your child sleepy and should not be used if your child needs to remain alert.

If symptoms do not improve within seven days, if they get worse, or if they are accompanied by a fever higher than 38° C (100.4° F) or by the production of thick mucus (phlegm), stop use and speak to your child’s healthcare professional.


  1. Canadian Paediatric Society. Using over-the-counter drugs to treat cold symptoms. Available at Accessed May 23, 2023.
  2. WebMD. Treating Your Child's Cold or Fever. Available at Accessed May 23, 2023.

Additional information from Robitussin®: Proper Dosing For Children.