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CDC Report Highlights the Need for Safe Use and Safekeeping of Medicines
Date:1/28/2008

Leading makers of OTC medicines working to raise awareness of this need among parents, healthcare professionals

WASHINGTON, Jan. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A government report published today by the journal Pediatrics shows that the number of emergency room visits by children attributable to pediatric over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription cough and cold medicines are rare -- and of these visits, a vast majority were to due to accidental ingestion. The review was prepared by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Linda A. Suydam, president, Consumer Healthcare Products Association, commented on the analysis, stating: "This CDC review puts the overall discussion of pediatric cough and cold remedies into perspective by focusing on concrete data that address the real issue. These medicines are safe when used as directed, and this government review underscores the importance of educating consumers -- especially those with small children -- on the safe use and safekeeping of medicine."

CHPA has been working to educate consumers that safe use and safekeeping of all medicines can be critical in preventing adverse events. "Safety and the safe use of our medicines are our top priority, so it is important that we understand the root causes of any adverse event, and raise awareness about storing medicines safely out of the reach of children," said Suydam.

According to the CDC report, unsupervised ingestions of either prescription or OTC cough and cold medicines account for two-thirds of emergency department visits related to OTC and prescription cough and cold medicines. This examination of emergency room data reinforces and further validates nationwide poison control data. An independent analysis of the American Association of Poison Control Centers' database also demonstrates that accidental ingestion by children ages 2-5 accounts for two-thirds of non-fatal adverse events. Richard Dart, M.D., director, Rocky Mounta
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SOURCE Consumer Healthcare Products Association
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