FDA Warns Cold Medicines Too Risky For Babies

LAWFUEL – Legal Newswire –
~ Parents cautioned against giving over-the-counter medicines to children
under the age of two ~

TALLAHASSEE, FL – Attorney General Bill McCollum today issued a
consumer advisory on the heels of an advisory from the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) that warned over-the-counter cold medicines should
not be given to children under the age of two years old. The FDA advisory
cites possible side effects that could be serious and potentially
life-threatening in babies and toddlers and warns parents that while the
medicines might appear to ease cold symptoms in older children, there is
no evidence that they actually help younger children.

“It is imperative that parents get this important message of safety
for their young children,” said Attorney General McCollum. “When a child
is sick, our first instinct is to do whatever we can to make them feel
better, but parents need to be aware that medicines once thought to be
safe could instead be deadly.”

Attorney General McCollum reminded parents that cold season is still
in full swing and parents should make sure they don’t give their younger
children medicine they may have purchased to give their older siblings.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last year that
more than 1,500 babies and toddlers wound up in emergency rooms over a
two-year period because of the drugs. The FDA has also found more than 120
child deaths have been directly linked to antihistamines or decongestants
over the past 40 years.

The FDA has not yet determined whether older children are also at
risk but offered the following guidelines for parents when giving older
children the medicines:

– Follow the dosing directions on the label of any over-the-counter
– Understand that these drugs will NOT cure or shorten the duration of
the common cold;
– Check the “Drug Facts” label to learn what active ingredients are in
the products because many over-the-counter cough and cold products contain
multiple active ingredients; and
– Only use measuring spoons or cups that come with the medicine or
those made specifically for measuring drugs.

More information, including the FDA advisory, is available on the
FDA’s website at http://www.fda.gov/cder/index.html.

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