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Vapor rub relieves cold symptoms for children, helps them sleep better
Date:11/8/2010

each participating family received when distributing their sealed specimen cup-containing envelope. Parents of children who received the vapor rub or petroleum jelly were blinded to their treatment group. To accomplish this, given the characteristic scent of vapor rubs, parents received their own specimen cup of vapor rub that they were instructed to apply between their own upper lip and nose before opening their child's treatment in order to ensure they could not detect the smell of their child's treatment. Parents of children in the no treatment group received an empty specimen cup.

Parents then completed a second survey the following morning assessing their child's cough, sleep, congestion and runny nose.

In comparisons across the three treatment groups, parents reported that the vapor rub provided significantly greater relief as measured by cough frequency, cough severity, congestion and the child's ability to sleep. Parents also rated their own sleep as most improved in the vapor rub group when compared across the three study groups. Paired comparisons between the vapor rub group and the no treatment group demonstrated the superiority of the vapor rub for all study outcomes except runny nose. Paired comparison of the vapor rub group to the petroleum jelly group showed vapor rub improved child's sleep, parent's sleep and the combined symptom score. The petroleum jelly placebo was not significantly better than no-treatment for any study outcome.

The most common side effect cited with the use of the vapor rub was a burning sensation of the skin, reported by 28 percent of participants receiving that treatment. No side effects were reported with use of petroleum jelly.

The results of this study suggest that an old, commonly used remedy is effective at providing symptomatic relief from night-time cold symptoms with the added benefit of improving sleep for children with colds and their parents," Paul said. "Vapor rubs have been used for generations
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Contact: Matt Solovey
msolovey@hmc.psu.edu
717-531-0003
Penn State
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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