Mums confess: "I sedated my kids for peace and quiet"
According to a national study, one in five families reach for the Phenergan to dope their kids on long road trips. Is it dangerous and does it really work?
Sedating children is a highly controversial topic. Some mums are against using medication for sedation, while others will try anything for a few moments of silence. Once upon a time, the tried and tested solution was hot milk with whisky, a few sips of wine or Benadryl. Now, mums around the country are reaching for the Phenergan.
Phenergan, a so-called magic elixir, is a an over-the-counter antihistamine commonly used for rashes, itchiness, motion sickness and runny noses. However, it can also double as a sleeping aid. So we asked some mums who have sedated their kids what the effects were. The responses were a mixed bag.
It made them super hyper
"My daughter had an ongoing skin rash when she was smaller. The doctor prescribed Phenergan, however, it just made her nuts and she went completely off the rails and hyper!"
"I gave my first child Phenergan when he was 23 months old for his first flight from Australia to New Zealand. It helped him sleep on the way over, but on the way back it had the opposite effect and he was super hyper."
"I used it on my daughter on a flight to Hawaii. She just went super hyper."
"My son drank some Phenergan, which I had planned to slip him on a long-haul flight to Heathrow. He ended up having over three times the recommended dose. We rushed him to emergency. I expected it would have made him sleepy, but no, it was like he had ants in his pants for the next six hours."
It had no effect whatsoever
"Tried Phenergan on my children, but it had no effect whatsoever. Our kids have travelled a lot with us, but we haven't experienced any trouble keeping them quiet. I have seen kids scream on planes for what seems like an eternity and wish their parents had tried to sedate them."
It made my daughter bark like a dog
"I gave my 3-year-old daughter a small dose to try and calm her down while we were having dinner with my husband's big boss. It ended up having the opposite effect. She crawled under the glass table where we were all having dinner and barked like a dog, up and down the length of the table, refusing to come out and dodging my attempts to grab her. I've never been so embarrassed and never tried it again."
It worked well for my child
"I gave Phenergan to my first child when she was 10 months old for a plane trip to my big sister's wedding. I gave her half the recommended dose and she slept for half the flight. A sleeping child equals a happy mum."
As with all medications, they can have unwanted side effects. According to WebMD these can include irritability, restlessness and hallucinations.
Have you ever sedated your children?