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Parents Continue to Give Cough and Cold Meds to Young Kids, Despite FDA Warnings
Date:2/15/2011

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Feb. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Research has linked over-the-counter cough and cold products to poisoning or death in hundreds of children, ages 2 and younger. Studies have also shown that these medicines do little to control symptoms. As a result, in 2008, the United States Food and Drug Administration formally recommended that OTC cough and cold products not be given to children under age 2.

A poll released today by the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health shows that 61 percent of parents of children, ages 2 and younger, gave their children OTC cough and cold medicine within the last 12 months. The poll also shows that more than half of parents report that their child's doctor says OTC cough and cold medications are safe for children under 2; half of their physicians said they are effective.

"FDA warnings about OTC cough and cold medicines prompted a voluntary recall of products marketed for children younger than 2 years," says Matthew Davis, M.D., director of the poll and associate professor in the Child Health Evaluation and Research Unit at the U-M Medical School. "We wanted to see how well parents and physicians were adopting those recommendations. Unfortunately, this latest poll indicates that the FDA warnings have gone unheeded by the majority of parents, and surprisingly, many physicians."

In January 2011, the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health asked parents across the U.S. with children, age 6 months to 2 years, about using OTC cough and cold medicines.

The poll also found:

  • While about 61 percent of parents with children, ages 2 and under, have given their children OTC cough and cold medicines within the last 12 months, use of such medicines differs by race/ethnicity—higher among black (80 percent) and Hispanic (69 percent) pare
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SOURCE University of Michigan Health System
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