-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- More than 40 percent of
American parents give over-the-counter cough and cold medicines to
kids under age 4 even though they're too young for such products, a
new survey finds.
In young children, these medicines can cause allergic reactions,
increased or uneven heart rate, slow and shallow breathing,
confusion or hallucinations, drowsiness or sleeplessness,
convulsions, nausea and constipation.
Since 2008, labels on cough and cold medicines have warned that
they should not be given to children under age 4. The use of cough
and cold medicines in children in that age group did not differ by
parent gender, race/ethnicity or household income, according to the
University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll
on Children's Health.
The survey included 498 parents of children aged 3 and
Children can get five to 10 colds a year, so parents often turn
to over-the-counter cough and cold medicines to relieve their
child's symptoms. But that can be dangerous, the study authors
"Products like these may work for adults, and parents think it could help their children as well. But what's good for adults is not always good for children," survey director Dr. Matthew Davis said in a university news release.
Davis said parents can be confused by the fact that many of
"these products are labeled prominently as 'children's'
medications. The details are often on the back of the box, in small
print. That's where parents and caregivers can find instructions
that they should not be used in children under 4 years old."
Parents need to read cough and cold medication labels carefully
and should always call their child's doctor if they have questions
about over-the-counter medicines, Davis urged.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more for
cough and cold medications and children.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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