LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — COVID-19 is still an issue across the country, but it’s also cold and flu season.

Additionally, there is a surge in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases.

Statistics show children can catch as many as six to eight colds a year.

While you might be tempted to give your little ones cold medicines, doctors at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland say there’s no evidence that cold medicines help children younger than six-years-old.

There are potential risks as well.

According to research published in the medical journal BMJ, over-the-counter cold medicines like decongestants and products that have antihistamines in them do not actually improve cold symptoms in children under 12.

Not only is there no clear benefit, but the research also shows there are potential side effects as well.

Those side effects include an upset stomach and drowsiness, and potentially even something more serious, like a rapid heart rate, seizures or even death.

So what can you do?

In the BMJ study, researchers found that saline nose drops and vapor rub can help.

For younger children, doctors recommend suction and nasal saline drops to help clear mucus.

For kids over the age of one, doctors say you can try honey as a natural remedy to help with a mild cough.

If you plan to use acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help with a fever, remember to double-check that you’ve given your kids the correct dose.

Doctors at university hospitals say you should take your child to their pediatrician if they are having trouble breathing, complain about ear pain, are sleeping much more than normal, won’t stop crying, aren’t drinking well, can’t keep fluids down, or if their cough or cold doesn’t improve after one week.

Children should also go to the doctor if they have a fever that lasts more than three days, a fever that doesn’t go down with fever-improving medicine or if your child is under three months old and has a fever for any duration of time.

Doctors say cold symptoms usually clear up within seven to 10 days

Since there’s COVID-19 added to the mix and those symptoms are similar, it’s always a good idea to get them tested.