NEW: HFHT's Practising Wisely Newsletter
For clinicians, by clinicians.
Issue 7: Throat Swabs & Cough/Cold Remedies for Children
January 10, 2016

Welcome back to our regular series on Choosing Wisely! Going forward, we aim to provide practices with the latest updates from Choosing Wisely Canada and its chapters around the world. In particular, we will try to provide tools that will help us with understanding the rationale behind recommendations, and helping our patients become our partners in making smart and effective choices.

This week from the world of pediatrics, here are two pertinent recommendations to keep in mind in the midst of the current cold and flu epidemic:

"Don’t routinely do a throat swab when children present with a sore throat if they have a cough, rhinitis, or hoarseness as they almost certainly have viral pharyngitis."

This coincides with a 2011 article in the Journal of Canadian Family Physicians about Acute Sore Throats ("the Toronto Sore Throat Rule").

And as far as treatment goes:

"Don’t recommend the use of cough and cold remedies in children under six years of age." 

Research shows that cough and cold remedies are not effective when given to children and since 2008, Health Canada has advised against their use in children less than six years of age. 

It is interesting that a number of natural remedies are being advertised on TV to fill that void, but Health Canada has yet to go as far as the FDA and require homeopathic products to include statements that “there is no scientific evidence backing homeopathic health claims.”

Don't forget to check out the "Quick Links" section of the newsletter for more in-depth reading.

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