To Your Health
October, 2008 (Vol. 02, Issue 10)
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Don't Ignore the Warnings

By Editorial Staff

Did you know that according to researchers from Boston University's Slone Epidemiology Center, one in 10 children uses at least one cough medication during any given week, and younger children are the most frequent users? Specifically, a reported 10.1 percent of children ages 2-5 were given antihistamines, 9.9 percent were given decongestants and 7 percent were given antitussives (cough suppressants). Even more startling, 7.6 percent of children under age 2 received antihistamines, 5.9% received decongestants and 9.4% received cough suppressants.

Why is this discovery so important? Because earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration issued a public health advisory recommending that parents and caregivers not use over-the-counter cough and cold products to treat children under age 2, and announced it was in the process of reviewing whether the warning should be extended to older children (ages 2-11).

 - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark "These medicines, which treat symptoms and not the underlying condition, have not been shown to be safe or effective in children under 2," said Dr. Charles Ganley, director of the FDA Office of Nonprescription Products," in an agency press release.

As always, talk to your doctor before taking any medication or administering it to your child, and inquire about natural alternatives, particularly for managing cold symptoms. No one wants their child to suffer through a bad cold, but giving them cough and cold medicine just isn't worth the risk.