Just as cough and cold season is beginning, there is a new warning tonight for parents from the makers of popular over-the-counter remedies. Ten percent of children take the medicines in any given week, but tonight, the industry is telling parents NOT to give them to children under 4.
Both the industry-- and its critics, agree, today's move is a big step forward. But those who worry about the safety of cough and cold medicines for children, say why stop at age 4. Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, the Baltimore City Health Commissioner said,"We still think there's no evidence that these products work and they are potentially unsafe for kids under age 6.
In some cases,the medicines have affected a child's breathing and heart rhythms and caused seizures. Last year, they were banned for children under age 2 .The industry says today's move is based on new information. Linda Suydam with the Consumer Health Care Products Association said, "We've looked at the data and 2 and 3 year old have have the majority of adverse events, even though the number is very rare.
Parents are likely to remain confused by all this because old out-of-date labels will linger on the shelves. Even today, we found packages without the warning against using this on children under age 2, which was agreed to a year ago.
Moms and dads have relied on the medicines for decades. But they've never been tested on children, and pediatricians are increasingly telling parents to steer clear. Dr. Dale Coddington from Children's National Medical Center said,"Some believe the industry's latest move in an attempt to head off tougher restrictions -something under consideration by the government.
I am bummed about this. I try not to give my kids medicine unless they really need it, but no cold medicine EVER is going to be tough. Humidifier, pain relievers and salt water nasal spray will have to do.
Will you stop giving your kids under four cough and cold medicine after reading this?
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