Okay, I have an actual hot parenting topic for you today... (results and commentary on the miniatures poll later today if I get to it.)
Here's the question?
Have you ever used Benadryl to help get your children to sleep? (at home, on airplanes, car rides, etc?) Or WOULD you (if you have not)? Is this ethical?
Okay, here's my two cents. Yes, I have. I don't have a problem with it under certain circumstances. Here's why.
Benadryl is a product that I have used for all of my children for its intended purpose at one time or another. From runny noses to allergic reactions, they have all had to take it for a "legitimate" reason, and they all tolerate it well.
Every medication has side effects. For Benadryl, an unintended side effect of this medication is that it makes them sleepy. This side effect has prompted the creation of all sorts of over-the-counter nighttime medications for adults-- Tylonel PM, even one of the name brand medications intended soley for sleep (nytol maybe?), etc. It's the same active ingredient and the same doseage as in an adult dose of Benadryl. Basically, they are using the side effect of Benadryl to treat another condition, sleeplessness.
Now, I have seen this with my beloved Trazadone. It's not a tranquilizer-- it's not intended for insomnia, it's actually an anti-depressant that has a side effect of sleepiness. So when taken at night, it helps sleep. Many people with insomnia have taken Trazadone as an insomnia cure. (Me included.) But it's still considered an "off-label" use of the product... in other words, not what the product was created to do.
So back to Benadryl for children. It's a doseage I know they can handle (because it's what the dr. has told me to give them), I know how they respond to the medication, and it produces a DESIRED side effect-- sleepiness.
I have used Benadryl "off-label" very rarely. I did use it on the plane on the way down here. And the kids slept on the plane/ on the three hour car ride. And I can think of one other time I have used it with Josiah when he'd been up for three hours in the middle of the night screaming.
I do not think that people should overuse this strategy, but I think in moderation it's fine.
How about you? What do you think?