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Cold medicines

Safety of Kids Cough and Cold Medicines Questioned

Monday, October 27, 2008 by: Deanna Dean
Tags: cold medicines, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) Kids are back in school and flu season is around the corner if not already upon us. Last January the FDA urged parents not to give over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold drugs to kids younger than 2 years of age. A few months prior to this red flag advisory, dozens of infant cough and cold products were recalled.

Now, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), a trade group for makers of OTC drugs, reports that after the drug industry consulted with the FDA, leading makers of OTC pediatric and cold drugs are voluntarily changing the labels to read, "Don't use over-the- counter pediatric cough and cold drugs in children younger than 4 years of age." "We support this voluntary action that's been taken by the industry," says Janet Woodcock, MD, director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. She goes on to say parents should be diligent and follow package directions exactly. Also don't give children multiple products at the same time. Part of the new labeling directions will be to avoid the use of OTC pediatric cough and cold drugs containing antihistamines to sedate or make a child sleepy.

Research suggests these preparations can do more harm than good. Records filed with the FDA over the last 37 years indicate that most deaths in children under the age of 2 were associated with decongestant medicines made with pseudoephedrine, phenylephrine or ephedrine. Other deaths occurred because of the association with antihistamine medicines containing diphenhydramine, brompheniramine or chlorpheniramine.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Preventions reports that approximately 7,000 children under the age of 11 go to emergency rooms each year for problems associated with cough and cold medications. Inappropriate use of these medicines accounts for roughly two thirds of these incidents according to the CDC.

Dr. Michael Spigarelli, an assistant professor of pediatrics and internal medicine at Cincinnati Children's Hospital will be testifying at upcoming hearings to consider whether these medications should be OTC or prescription. The hearings will also question dosage and age range.

Chanin Wright, assistant professor of pediatrics at Texas A & M Health Science Center College of Medicine and pediatric clinical specialist with Scott & White has a concern that if the FDA does remove these medications from the market, there could be the risk that parents would use adult drugs instead for their children which might cause harm.

With OTC cough and cold medicines off limits for kids younger than 4 years of age here are a few strategies pediatricians suggest:
Keep children well hydrated
Reduce a child's fever using appropriate medication (check with doctor)
Use honey for coughs or a sore throat for children older than 1 year of age
Consider using a humidifier or nasal drops to relieve congestion.
Keep a child's head elevated when resting.

Your healthmate,

Deanna Dean

WebMD-Oct.7, 2008, Miranda Hitti/Reviewed – Louise Chang, M.D.

HealthDay Reporter –Amanda Gardner, Thursday October 2, 2008

About the author

Deanna Dean is the Wellness Director for Your Health Coach, a company dedicated to health and wellness education.
website: yourhealthcoachdee.com
Dee is a Wellness & Weight Loss Coach, a Certified Natural Health Professional, is pursuing an ND degree-Naturopathic Doctor, is a certified Raw Chef, certified in Dietary Guidelines from the Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research, former Personal Trainer, Yoga and Fitness Studio Owner, TV and Radio Guest, Health Columnist.
Deanna develops customized programs to enhance the health of her clients, educates, and coaches dieters for safe weight loss.

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