Vicks VapoRub May Harm Children Under Two

When inappropriately applied under the nose, Vicks VapoRub can create respiratory distress for children under two, U.S. researchers say.

Dr. Bruce Rubin, from Wake Forest University School of Medicine in North Carolina, spoke with Reuters and told the news service that it is when the product is being applied improperly that there are issues: “The only problem we've seen is in a small child when it has been put under the nose…The company (P&G, who produces Vicks) is really clear it should never go under the nose or in the nose for anybody and it shouldn't be used in children under 2.”

Rubin says Vicks can be an irritant if used in this way, causing a toddler’s already narrow airways to swell or fill with mucus, in turn creating severe breathing problems.

David Bernens, a spokesperson for Procter & Gamble, responded to the report: “Vicks VapoRub has been proven safe and effective through multiple clinical trials,” he tells Reuters.  “It has been in the market for over 100 years." Bernens added that the label states that the product should not be used in those under two and not under the nose, ‘We warn people not to do that."