A new study warns about improper use of Vicks VapoRub and products like it on babies and toddlers.
Researchers at Wake Forest University began studying the effects of Vicks VapoRub after treating an 18-month-old girl for respiratory problems. The product had been applied directly under her nose.
Using lab ferrets, researchers say the product appeared to stimulate mucus production and airway inflammation. Since babies have smaller air passageways, they say this could be especially problematic.
Vicks VapoRub is only intended for children over age 2, and is labeled as such. The package label also clearly directs users to rub it on the chest or throat, not under the nose.
A spokesman for Proctor and Gamble says the company has, quote, "overwhelming safety data" when it comes to using Vicks VapoRub on children. The company asks that cold sufferers only use the product as directed on the label.