WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., Jan. 13 (UPI) -- A U.S. study suggests the popular cold treatment Vicks Vapo Rub may create respiratory problems for infants and small children.
The study by Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, published in the journal Chest, found the menthol compound may stimulate mucus production and airway inflammation, which can have severe effects on infants or young children because of the small size of their airways.
"The ingredients in Vicks can be irritants, causing the body to produce more mucus to protect the airway," Dr. Bruce K. Rubin, a professor in the department of pediatrics at Brenner Children's Hospital, part of Wake Forest Baptist. "Infants and young children have airways that are much narrower than those of adults, so any increase in mucus or inflammation can narrow them more severely."
The report said Rubin's findings support current labeling of the Procter and Gamble product, which indicates Vicks product should not be used on children under 2 years of age.