Can I give my 2 year old Zarbee’s cough syrup?

Quick Answer

Zarbee’s cough syrup can typically be given to children 2 years and older, but it’s best to check with your pediatrician first. Zarbee’s cough syrup contains natural ingredients like honey and elderberry, but can still have side effects or interactions with other medications. Your pediatrician can help determine if Zarbee’s is appropriate for your child’s age, weight, and symptoms.

What is Zarbee’s Cough Syrup?

Zarbee’s is a brand that makes natural over-the-counter cough and cold remedies for children and adults. Their products contain ingredients like honey, elderberry, echinacea, and thyme.

Some of their most popular children’s cough syrups include:

  • Children’s Cough Syrup with Dark Honey
  • Naturals Children’s Elderberry Immune Support Syrup
  • Naturals Children’s Cough Syrup + Mucus with Dark Honey & Ivy Leaf

These products are designed to help soothe sore throats, suppress coughs, loosen mucus, and support the immune system. They contain no drugs, chemicals, or artificial flavors.

Is it Safe for a 2 Year Old?

According to the label, Zarbee’s cough syrups are considered safe for children 2 years and older. However, it’s always best to check with your pediatrician before giving any over-the-counter medication to a young child.

Here are some things your pediatrician will consider:

  • The ingredients – Honey should not be given to children under 1 year old due to botulism risk. Other ingredients may also be inappropriate for young immune systems.
  • Dosage – The proper dosage for a 2 year old will depend on weight and circumstances. Too much can cause side effects.
  • Other medications – Cough syrup can interact with other drugs or health conditions like allergies or asthma.
  • The illness – Factors like severity, duration, and symptoms will determine if cough medicine is recommended.

Your pediatrician knows your child’s medical history best and can help decide if Zarbee’s cough syrup is suitable and safe.

Potential Benefits for a 2 Year Old

When used correctly under medical supervision, Zarbee’s cough syrup offers several potential benefits for a 2 year old:

  • Soothing irritated throats – Ingredients like honey and ivy leaf can coat and soothe sore throat pain and irritation.
  • Thinning mucus – Ivy leaf is an expectorant that helps loosen thick mucus to make coughs more productive.
  • Suppressing coughs – Honey has natural antitussive effects to suppress coughing fits and allow rest.
  • Supporting immunity – Elderberry, echinacea, thyme and vitamins help strengthen immune response.
  • Improving taste – The syrups have a pleasant taste vs. artificial flavors to encourage dosage compliance.

When used for the short-term and as directed, these benefits can provide 2 year olds with relief and recovery during a cold or cough.

Possible Side Effects and Safety Concerns

While considered gentler than conventional cough medicine, Zarbee’s syrups can still pose some potential side effects or safety issues, including:

  • Allergic reactions – Ingredients like honey, echinacea or herbs can trigger allergies in some children.
  • Overdose – Too large a dose can cause effects like nausea, stomach pain, dizziness, or hyperactivity.
  • Drowsiness – Some formulations make cause drowsiness, especially when combined with other medications.
  • Masking symptoms – Suppressing coughs too much may allow mucus buildup or hide worsening illness.
  • Botulism – Honey can cause infant botulism in children under 1 year old.
  • Drug interactions – Active ingredients may interact with prescription drugs or health conditions.

Careful dosage according to medical guidance is important to minimize adverse reactions. Mild side effects usually resolve quickly when use is stopped.

Proper Dosage for a 2 Year Old

The proper Zarbee’s cough syrup dosage for a 2 year old depends on:

  • Age – Older 2 year olds may tolerate higher doses within the age range.
  • Weight – Heavier children can typically take more.
  • Illness severity – More severe, persistent coughs may warrant higher doses.
  • Ingredients – Formulas with more active ingredients often call for smaller doses.

Always follow the dosage chart on the packaging by age and weight. Common dosage guidelines include:

Children’s Cough Syrup with Dark Honey

  • 2-3 years: 5 mL every 4 hours as needed
  • 4-5 years: 7.5 mL every 4 hours as needed

Naturals Children’s Elderberry Syrup

  • 2-3 years: 5 mL per day
  • 4-8 years: 10 mL per day

Measure doses carefully using the included dosing cup. Don’t exceed 4 doses in 24 hours. Seek medical advice if cough persists for more than 7 days.

How to Administer to a 2 Year Old

Giving cough syrup to a squirming toddler can be challenging. Here are some tips for easier administration:

  • Choose a flavor they like. Zarbee’s syrups come in flavors like grape, cherry, and raspberry.
  • Make sure they haven’t just eaten to avoid vomiting or choking.
  • Hold them upright, either seated or standing.
  • Insert the dosing cup gently into a cheek pocket and squirt inside – don’t squirt down the throat.
  • Give slowly to prevent gagging or spitting up.
  • Blow a pinwheel or read a book to provide distraction during dosing.
  • Offer praise, hugs, and a small treat as reward afterwards!

Expect some fussing and resistance. Stay positive, patient, and consistent. With practice, the process usually gets easier over time.

Interactions with Other Medications

It’s important to be aware of any potential medication interactions before giving Zarbee’s cough syrup to a 2 year old. Several notable interactions include:

  • Antibiotics – Elderberry may interact with certain antibiotics by inhibiting their effectiveness. Give at least 2 hours apart.
  • Sedatives – Elderberry and honey can enhance the drowsiness effects of antihistamines, sleep aids or anxiety medications.
  • Immunosuppressants – Echinacea can counteract the effects of certain drugs that suppress the immune system.
  • Bronchodilators – Ivy leaf may interact with asthma rescue inhalers like albuterol.
  • Diuretics – Herbal diuretics like dandelion may increase the diuretic effects.

Always tell your pediatrician about any other medications your child is taking to identify possible interactions with Zarbee’s cough syrup.

When to Talk to a Doctor

While Zarbee’s syrups are generally recognized as safe for ages 2 and up, it’s important to involve your pediatrician in determining appropriateness and proper usage instructions tailored to your child.

Contact your pediatrician if your 2 year old experiences:

  • Persistent fever over 100.4°F
  • Wheezing, difficulty breathing, or bluish lips
  • No improvement in cough or congestion after 5 days
  • Worsening or return of symptoms
  • No appetite, dehydration, or inability to drink fluids
  • Signs of allergic reaction like rash, swelling, or breathing problems
  • Unusual symptoms like ear pain or vomiting

These could indicate complications requiring medical attention. Children under 3, especially those with other medical conditions, warrant extra caution and pediatric guidance on using cough syrup.


Zarbee’s cough syrups can be used in children as young as 2 years old to help temporarily alleviate cough and cold symptoms. However, it’s essential to consult your pediatrician first to determine proper dosage, administration, potential interactions and side effects based on your child’s age, weight, symptoms and medical history. With your doctor’s guidance, Zarbee’s syrups can provide 2 year olds with gentle, natural relief when used for short periods as directed. Monitor closely for any side effects and stop use if symptoms don’t improve or worsen. Together with your pediatrician, you can make sure your child gets safe, appropriate treatment to help them feel better soon.

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