I don't like self-medication, especially for the kids, but there are two exceptions - I always have a bottle of Calpol and a bottle of cough mixture in the cupboard, just in case. In fact, they are the only two items I've added to the Baby Aid compact first aid kit which is always thrown in the bag whenever we go off to visit the grandparents.
I always believed the cough medicines prescribed by the doctor must be more effective than the ones you can buy over the counter, but having looked at the labels, they seem to contain pretty much the same ingredients. Tixylix is the brand I remember from when I was a kid, so I thought I'd stick with tradition and give it a go.
It's been in the cupboard for a couple of months so when Juliette got a nasty tickly cough that had her coughing all night, I ran off to grab it and see if it would help. One spoonful later, she was tucked back up in bed and seemed to cough less for the rest of the night. The problem with reviewing cough mixture is you never really know how well it works because you don't know how it would have evolved without medication. Who's to say the cough wouldn't have disappeared by itself ? But it does get a big thumbs up for tasting nice - it smells of blackcurrant and Juliette said it tasted "yummy" and with kids that age, that's half the battle. There was no whingeing or pulling faces and the next morning, when she started coughing again, she was the one to ask if she could have some more.
It is suitable for children aged 3 months to 5 years, so it's great for me because Pierre (6 months) and Juliette (5 next month) can use the same bottle. Despite the sweet, blackcurrant flavour, it contains no sugar, which is great news for teeth because most cough medicine is given at night time and often after teeth have been brushed. It is naturally flavoured with vanilla and blackcurrant and is also colour-free.
Tixylix comes in a child-proof bottle with a measuring spoon in the box. The dosage is one 5ml spoonful for children under one, or two 5ml spoonfuls for 1-5 year olds, so you can actually use the same spoon as for Calpol - good news if you can't find the Tixylix spoon in the middle of the night ! You should allow 3-4 hours between doses and it can be taken 3-4 times a day, as required. Juliette took some first thing in the morning and last thing at night and a few days later, it had disappeared.
If you remember a few years ago when baby cough medicines (including Tixylix) were effectively banned, following a health scare, you'll be reassured to know that new guidelines have been put in place. The actual products weren't dangerous in themselves - Tixylix has been around since I was a kid and probably long before ! - but parents were using dangerously large amounts of cough syrup on young children. In March 2009, cough mixtures had to change again, as certain ingredients are no longer allowed in children's cough medicines. If you're worried about these issues, the Tixylix website explains it all, but if you follow the doses indicated on the bottle, there's really no danger at all.
The Tixylix website is actually a mine of information. Not only does it give you lots of information on the whole range of Tixylix products available, it has a handy "Quick Symptom Check" where you can even listen to different coughs to decide which product you need. There are also some fun activities available, including games to play online or activity books to print out (great for little ones feeling yucky and tucked up under a blanket on the settee), stories and rhymes for parents and kids to enjoy together and a brilliant tool for adding accessories like baseball caps and sunglasses to a photo of your baby that you can then send to your friends !
star rating : 4/5
RRP : £2.99 for 100ml