Don’t Give Cough or Cold Remedies to Children Under Four

Cough syrupParents should always consult their pediatrician before giving any medication to their child, but the labels on cough and cold remedies have historically stated that these medicines should not be given to children under age 2. 

Cough and cold remedies are coming under fresh scrutiny and drug manufacturers have voluntarily decided to change their labels stating that cough and cold medicines should NOT be given to children younger than age 4. Products with the old labels will not be removed immediately from store shelves but will be gradually replaced with newly-labeled products.

A booming, and rapidly growing, multimillion dollar industry, herbal drugs as well as other over-the-counter drugs, line the shelves of grocery stores and pharmacies. People often assume that they are safe if they are sold in their neighborhood grocery store.  This is not necessarily true.  Every year, thousands of children under age 12 end up in emergency rooms after taking over-the-counter cough and cold medicines. Most of these children were unsupervised when they took the medicine.

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Source: CDC, October 2009 http://www.cdc.gov/Features/PediatricColdMeds/

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