My son is 4yrs old. And it doesn’t matter a kid is older than 4yrs or younger than 4yrs; some of my family members prefer Brandy even for a kid, if he/she is suffering from cough and cold.

Even I have seen a statutory warning on the Brandy bottle so I am confused.

Is it recommended for kids? And

What can be the negative effects of Brandy, if it’s given to a Kid for cough and cold?

  • 3
    My mother used to give us whiskey for a really bad cough! Today, there are much better cough suppressants without the deleterious effects on the brain that alcohol has. Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 14:16

1 Answer 1


From Wikipedia: Brandy generally contains 35–60% alcohol by volume (70–120 US proof)

Alcohol is unhealthy in general, especially bad for the brain and doubly so for a child's developing brain. So no, it's not recommended at all.

I (fortunately) don't know of any studies that gave children alcohol on purpose to test the effects, but known effects from alcohol exposure in the womb include facial anomalies, low birth weight, stunted growth, small head size, delayed or uncoordinated motor skills, hearing or vision problems, learning disabilities, behavior problems, and inappropriate social skills compared to same-age peers.

Of course a few spoons of Brandy will not cause all of that, but it shows that there are definite negative effects.

I'm not aware if the Brandy remedy is mostly used to sedate the child through the alcohol or if there are other benefits, but if there are, you could heat/boil the brandy to evaporate the alcohol before giving it. Per the comment form @anongoodnurse, this is not a good way to get the alcohol out.

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    +1. Fetal alcohol syndrome is the result of a high amount of exposure, but any exposure in a child should be done only after careful consideration. Also, unfortunately, heating alcohol doesn't evaporate as much of the alcohol as previously thought. There's almost as much left after prolonged heating as before; I don't know why, but there is. :( Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 14:12

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