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Kids' ER Visits Down After Cold Medicine Withdrawal
Date:11/22/2010

cold medications intended for older children or adults, he said.

"The lesson for parents is, don't give cough and cold medicines to your infants," Budnitz said. "Also, keep all medicines up and out of the way of children," he said.

To help prevent children from getting into medications, the CDC is working with manufacturers to get safer caps on medicine bottles, Budnitz said.

Commenting on the study, Dr. Andrew Racine, chief of general pediatrics at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, stressed that over-the-counter cough and cold medications are not intended for children under 4 years.

"The efficacy studies for these things are not very robust, and the potential bad effects have been well-documented," he said.

The withdrawal of these drugs proves that a public health solution can be effective, Racine said.

Racine concedes that young children who suffer from colds can make everyone in the home uncomfortable. "An 18-month-old that's up all night coughing, sneezing, and just miserable is very disruptive to a household," he said.

But there are safer ways to help your child deal with a cold, he said.

If a fever causes young children discomfort, you can give them Tylenol (acetaminophen), Racine said. "I tell parents not to be doing that at the least sign of fever, because a little fever is actually good. It helps make it difficult for the virus to replicate," he said.

A humidifier can relieve congestion, Racine said. Nasal saline drops and a bulb syringe to suck out mucus can provide some relief to infants with congestion, he added.

Also, a child with a cold needs lot of fluids, he said.

More information

For more information on colds, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Daniel S. Budnitz, M.D., M.P.H., Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, U.S. Centers fo
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