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Women's Health: Postpartum Community
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93532 tn?1349370450

No cold medication for children under 4.

Here is the link as well as the story
http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/family/10/07/kids.cough.meds.ap/index.html

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Children under 4 should not be given over-the-counter cough and cold remedies, drug companies said Tuesday in a concession to pediatricians who doubt the drugs work in kids and worry about their safety.
Problems with OTC cough and cold medicines in kids under six include hives, drowsiness and unsteady walking.

Problems with OTC cough and cold medicines in kids under six include hives, drowsiness and unsteady walking.

The voluntary changes came less than a week after federal health officials said they also saw little evidence that the drugs work, but feared that parents would give kids adult medicines if the products were taken off store shelves.

In addition, the drug makers said they will add a warning to their products that parents should not give children antihistamines to make them sleepy. These are allergy-relief medications often found in medicines that combine several ingredients to treat a variety of symptoms.
Kids and cold meds
Here are some tips for giving cough and cold medcine to children.
Parents are should never:
• Give adult medicines to a child.
• Give two or more medicines with the same ingredients at the same time.
• Give antihistamines to make a child sleepy.
Parents should:
• Give the exact recommended dose, using the measuring device that comes with the medicine.
• Keep OTC medicines out of sight and out of reach.
• Consult their doctor if they have any questions.
Source: Consumer Healthcare Products Association

The new measures "reflect industry's overall commitment to the continued safe and appropriate use of children's oral OTC cough and cold medicines," Linda Suydam, president of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, said in announcing the changes on behalf of the companies.

"We are doing this voluntarily our of an abundance of caution," she added. The new instructions will appear on products distributed for the coming cold season.

Pediatricians, who have been calling for a ban on marketing cough and cold remedies for children under 6, welcomed the shift by the industry.

"It's a huge step forward," said Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, Baltimore's health commissioner. "There is no evidence that these products work in kids, and there is definitely evidence of serious side effects."
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Problems with OTC cough and cold medicines send some 7,000 children to hospital emergency rooms each year, with symptoms ranging from hives, to drowsiness, to unsteady walking. Many kids overdose by taking medicines when their parents aren't looking.

Since a majority of the problems involve 2- to 3-year-olds, the industry's new instructions, if followed by parents, should help.
Health Library

    * MayoClinic.com: Children's health

"The 2- and 3-year-olds are definitely the highest risk," said Sharfstein. "More than 50 percent of the problem is with these kids. "If they don't have this stuff around the home, they're less likely to grab it and ingest it."

Pediatricians still support recalling the medicines for children under 6, and the Food and Drug Administration is studying their effectiveness for children under 12. But it could take a year or more for federal health officials to reach a final decision.
9 Responses
173939 tn?1333217850
Makes you wonder how many children with hives have been diagnosed with allergic reactions over decades, only to then be treated with steroid meds.

Just wanted to add something, Andi: interestingly, parents have a while ago been advised to try the 24 hour wait-and-see approach if their child has the very first ear infection. The first infection sometimes cures itself within a day, so antibiotics can be avoided and recurrence seems to be reduced.
93532 tn?1349370450
I agree, sometimes the wait-and-see approach works. I did read that here in the US they were recommending that for young infants you start the antibiotics, but for older babies and toddlers using the delayed approach was recommended.

I remember taking Jonathan to a baby fair when he was 2 or 3 mos old and we both developed a cold. Within a day he had an ear infection with a very high fever, we used the medicine and it cleared up. Had he been older, I would have likely waited.
Avatar universal
its good to see that meds arent always the answer.  calebs last surg (he was 8 or 9) the anesthesia did a number on him.  he couldnt sleep.  i mean he layed there about all night wide awake.  the ENT said to use benedryl and i did.  scary to read that now!  
145992 tn?1341345074
I heard about this.  Pretty scary that people have been giving their children this medicine because it said on the box that they can by a certain age.  
Avatar universal
Ava has a cold that creeped up on us over night.  I was thinking of giving her the prescribed decongestant that she had from last time she was stuffy.  Is it OK to give it to her for a cold?  I could only give her .03 last time, and that is what I was planning on giving her this go'round.  Is this OK, Andi?
Avatar universal
She is having a difficult time s u c k ing, and acts like she gets frustrated and pulls off.  So I gave her cereal tonight with carrots.  SIDS is stuck in the back of my mind.  Do you think I should sleep with her tonight?  And if I do, should I prop her up so the mucous drains?  What did you do for your boys when they had colds around her age?
171768 tn?1324230099
i wouldn't give the decongestant this time unless the doctor specifically tells you to. decongestants are not frequently prescribed to infants these days. while some doctors do for some circumstances, the fact that many don't or that they hold off as long as possible indicates that it may not be a good idea.

when DD was that age and sick, i did have her sleep right by me for peace of mind. also because she would wake often and it was easier than having to get out of bed. i did prop her up and it helped, along with a humidifier. as for SIDS, i haven't researched the statistics, but i have noticed that when you read about SIDS, it's never about babies who were sick.  
93532 tn?1349370450
I always co-slept, but if you do not that is something you have to think about. I know you said your bed is already full, so I would not bring Ava into that, but find a different place for you two.

I swear by saline drops/ Ocean Mist, a bulb syringe, and BABY vicks ( emphasize the baby vicks because it is not as harsh and very specific on how to use it). I never did the elevated thing because of the co-sleeping and fear of rolling into a pocket or the like.

Something recently discussed was the use of breastmilk as a way to help clear up sinuses and eye infections. It has to be fresh and as sterile as possible, but a drop or two up each nostril has been shown to be helpful in some babies. Take it with a grain of salt. I have done it when I haven't had the saline close by. If nothing else, it will help promote sneezing which is what the saline is supposed to do anyway.

I would also not give the rx medication. I would toss it. If she needs it again, let the doc given a new rx.

While she is awake, keep her as upright as she will allow. Maybe try a nice steamy bathroom.
Avatar universal
OK - Thank you.

Right now the bed is empty.  :(

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