Is Codeine Safe for Kids?
Due to the potential for serious complications such as slowed or difficult breathing, experts at the Food and Drug Administration are investigating whether it is safe for children to consume medicines containing codeine to treat cough and colds. Codeine is converted into morphine in the body, but some individuals process codeine more quickly than normal, which leads to high morphine levels in the blood that can lead to breathing problems. In the meantime, parents are advised to stop giving their child codeine-containing medicines and to seek medical care if they notice any warning signs of slow or shallow breathing, difficult or noisy breathing, confusion, or unusual sleepiness.
Medscape Medical News, July 2015